Affordable Access

Transplant arteriosclerosis in a rat aortic model.

Publication Date
  • Research Article
  • Medicine


Transplant arteriosclerosis (TA) has emerged as an obstacle to the long-term survival of transplanted organs, especially cardiac transplants. The animal models that have been used to study TA have not been fully characterized with regard to features such as the time course of cell proliferation and the sequence of cell types arriving in the developing intimal lesion. We present a model of TA based on a transplanted segment of abdominal aorta that helps address these questions. Two strains of rats (PVG x DA) underwent orthotopic aortic transplantation without immunosuppression and were killed at 14, 20, 40, and 60 days after transplantation. The within-strain control group displayed minimal evidence of cellular rejection with minimal to absent intimal lesions. In contrast, the allograft group showed a linearly increasing intimal lesion, up through 60 days after transplantation. The mechanism of intimal thickening was by an increase in cell number at the earlier time points with the later deposition of extracellular matrix. The early intimal lesion consisted mostly of mononuclear inflammatory cells (45%) with gradually increasing presence of smooth muscle cells (SMC) in the intima between 20 and 60 days. Conversely, the media showed gradual infiltration by macrophage-type cells with virtual loss of all SMC from the media by 40 days. The proliferative index showed a peak of 6% and 8% at 20 days in both the intima and media, respectively, and was preceded by the presence of macrophages. In fact, most of the proliferating cells at the earlier time points were either monocytes/macrophages, or were immediately adjacent to monocyte-/macrophage-rich regions. This straight artery segment model of transplant arteriosclerosis provides an easily quantifiable system in which the effects of different interventions (e.g., immunosuppressive regimens) can be tested.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.


Seen <100 times