Splenic autotransplantation seems to be the only alternative for preservation of splenic tissue after total splenectomy. This work was carried out to analyze the morphologic regeneration of autotransplanted splenic tissue in Wistar rats and to determine the bacterial phagocytic function of their macrophages. We utilized an experimental model including young and adult rats, of both sexes, submitted to total splenectomy combined with autotransplantation in the greater omentum of slices of the whole mass of spleen. Sixteen weeks later animals were intravenously inoculated with a suspension of Escherichia coli AB1157. There was regeneration of autotransplanted splenic tissue in all animals. A similar morphological aspect among all animals was observed, with splenic tissue showing red and white pulps with a moderate architectural disarrangement. Macrophages containing bacterial aggregates were observed, as well as macrophages with hemosiderin pigments inside the cytoplasm. Blood vessels showed preserved walls, with no signs of vasculitis or thrombosis. The present results suggest that splenic autotransplants in the greater omentum of the rat acquire the macro- and microscopic architecture of a normal spleen, with reduced dimensions, and preserve bacterial phagocyte function.
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