Tolerance to limb tissue allografts between swine matched for major histocompatibility complex antigens

W. P.A. Lee, J. P. Rubin, J. L. Bourget, S. R. Cober, M. A. Randolph, G. P. Nielsen, F. L. Ierino, D. H. Sachs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Transplantation of limb tissue allografts would greatly expand the realm of reconstructive surgery. However, the toxicity of chronic immunosuppression has adversely tilted the risk-benefit balance for clinical transplant. In this study, a procedure was sought to achieve host tolerance to limb tissue allografts through matching of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens between donor and host swine using only a 12-day course of cyclosporine. Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) miniature swine were used as a large animal model with defined MHC, and musculoskeletal grafts from the donor hind limb were transplanted heterotopically to the recipient femoral vessels. Allografts from MHC-mismatched donors treated with cyclosporine (n = 4) were rejected in less than 6 weeks by gross inspection and histologic sections. Allografts from MHC-matched, minor antigen mismatched donors not treated with cyclosporine (n = 4) were rejected between 9 and 12 weeks. Allografts from similarly matched donors treated with 12 days of cyclosporine (n = 7) showed no evidence of rejection until sacrifice between 25 and 47 weeks. Thus allograft tolerance was achieved between MHC-matched swine using a limited course of cyclosporine. Demonstration of limb tissue allograft survival in a large animal model without long-term immunosuppression represents an important step toward clinical transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1482-1490
Number of pages9
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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