Background: Transplantation of the uterus has been suggested as a possible future treatment of absolute uterine infertility. The tolerability of human uterine tissue to cold ischaemic storage was tested in the present study.
Methods: Small tissue samples of human uteri were subjected to cold (4 degrees C) ischaemia (6 and 24 h) in Ringer acetate (RIN), the intracellular-like University of Wisconsin solution (UW) or the extracellular-like Perfadex solution (PER). The ability of myometrial strips to contract, histology by light and electron microscopy as well as tissue concentrations of glutathione, ATP and protein were used as parameters to detect cold ischaemic injuries.
Results: Contractile ability and response to prostaglandin F(2alpha) (PGF(2alpha)) was better preserved after 6 h cold ischaemia in UW and PER in comparison with the other groups. Histological examination did not reveal any major changes after 6 and 24 h cold ischaemic storage in UW and PER solutions, while specimens stored in RIN for 24 h displayed degenerative changes on the electron microscopy level. UW and PER preserved ATP concentrations significantly better than RIN. Myometrium stored in UW contained more total glutathione but also a larger proportion of oxidized glutathione than specimens stored in RIN and PER. Protein concentrations did not change with storage time in any of the solutions.
Conclusions: The results show that human uterine myometrial tissue is resistant towards cold ischaemia for at least 6 h if stored in UW and PER solutions.