Development of a mouse aortic transplant model of chronic rejection

Microsurgery. 1995;16(2):110-3. doi: 10.1002/micr.1920160213.


Chronic rejection is the most common cause of late graft failure after solid organ transplantation. A model of chronic rejection, the rat aortic allograft, has histologic features that parallel those in the vessels of human transplanted organs. However, the molecular tools required to dissect the immunology of chronic rejection are unavailable in the rat. We developed aortic transplantation in the mouse as a new model of chronic rejection. This will allow the use of the diversity of recombinant cytokines and monoclonal antibodies available for the mouse and its well-defined genetics to investigate chronic rejection in greater detail. We describe the perioperative care and surgical technique for the model in which a 1 cm segment of donor thoracic aorta was used to replace a section of recipient abdominal aorta below the renal arteries and above the aortic bifurcation. Mortality rates were initially high (70%) due to thrombosis and shock. Changes in technique and operator facility resulted in a high rate of success (75%). After 192 operations, the current success rate is > 80%. Mice free from complications at 12 hrs postop had indefinite survival, and after 2 months the typical vascular lesion of chronic rejection was present. This new model of chronic rejection will be a valuable tool to study the molecular immunology and genetics of chronic rejection.

MeSH terms

  • Anastomosis, Surgical
  • Animals
  • Aorta / pathology
  • Aorta / transplantation*
  • Aorta, Abdominal / surgery
  • Aorta, Thoracic / transplantation
  • Cause of Death
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection / etiology*
  • Graft Rejection / genetics
  • Graft Rejection / immunology
  • Graft Rejection / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Microsurgery
  • Shock / etiology
  • Survival Rate
  • Suture Techniques
  • Thrombosis / etiology
  • Transplantation, Homologous