Autogenous transplants of adrenal fragments in an animal model

Pol Przegl Chir. 2018 Jun 13;90(4):22-28. doi: 10.5604/01.3001.0011.8178.


Introduction Adrenal insufficiency is a typical complication after surgical treatment of adrenal tumors, especially after the removal of both adrenal glands. Human beings are not able to survive without adrenal glands and without proper hormonal substitution. Autotransplantation of a fragment of the adrenal gland may prevent this complication. This can be done by transplanting the entire adrenal glands or its fragment, such as the adrenal cortex cells. In the case of adrenal tumors, the entire adrenal gland can not be transplanted. However, it is possible to transplant cells from the tumor-free part. Succesful adrenal autografts may result in a new treatment of adrenal insufficiency.

Materials and methods: Autograft transplantation was performed on 3 groups of Sprague Dawley rats. In the first group, physiological corticosterone concentrations were determined. These animals were not operated. In the second group, both adrenal glands were removed. Corticosterone concentrations were determined after bilateral adrenalectomy. The third group was divided into two parts. In the first subgroup, bilateral adrenalectomy was performed simultaneosly with adrenal transplant into the omentum. In the second subgroup, right adrenalectomy was performed simultaneosly with and adrenal transplant into the omentum followed a month later by left adrenalectomy. During the experiment, corticosterone concentrations were measured at 4 time points.

Results: The statistical difference between corticosterone concentrations in rats after two timed adrenalectomies and rats after bilateral adrenalectomy was statistically different, but these results were far from physiological concentrations.

Keywords: adrenal gland; adrenal insufficiency; grafts; transplantation.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex / cytology
  • Adrenal Cortex / transplantation*
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / surgery
  • Adrenal Glands / cytology
  • Adrenal Glands / transplantation*
  • Adrenalectomy / methods*
  • Animals
  • Autografts
  • Corticosterone / blood
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Corticosterone