Venovenous Allotransplantation in the Rat
In previous studies Engemann et al. (1977) and Körner (1979) were able to demonstrate that vein grafts transplanted into the venous system have the capacity to sensitize allogeneic recipients. Vein grafting led to accelerated rejection of subsequent donor-type skin grafts and production of cytotoxic antibodies to donor-type tissue. But all allogeneic vein grafts showed long-term patency, and histologically they appeared to be intact when investigated between day 20 and day 100 postoperatively. Especially no mononuclear cellular infiltrations could be found within this period. Allogeneic vein grafts in nonimmunosuppressed recipients were not distinguishable from syngeneic vein grafts 100 days postoperatively. These findings were unexpected, because arterial allografts (Thiede et al. 1979; Timmermann and Thiede 1981) as well as venous allografts (Deltz 1977) used for arterial replacement in the rat underwent a marked cellular infiltration even if long-term patency was achieved. Therefore the aim of our study was to compare syngeneic and allogeneic venovenous grafts by means of morphometric methods. Especially morphological alterations of the vein grafts occurring in the early postoperative phase needed investigation.
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