A reproducible model of chronic rejection in rat renal allografts

P Jablonski, K Baxter, B O Howden, A C Thomas, V C Marshall, A Stein-Oakley, N M Thomson

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A reproducible animal model is essential for the study of the pathogenesis of chronic rejection. This study investigates: (i) the optimal pre-transplant blood transfusion conditions to induce tolerance in a strongly rejecting rat kidney allograft model (Dark Agouti to Albino-Surgery) and avoiding post-transplant immunosuppression; (ii) the functional and histological changes that occur in long-term surviving kidneys and their similarity to chronic rejection; and (iii) the maintenance of tolerance. Prolonged survival occurred after administration of at least two donor blood transfusions with concomitant cyclosporin A (5 mg/kg per day). The time-span between transfusions appeared to be critical: 4 days was more effective than 2 or 7 days. Ineffective treatment led to death within the first 2 weeks post-transplant with histological evidence of acute graft rejection. Seventy-five per cent of long-term survivors experienced impaired renal function in the first week which improved spontaneously and remained stable in 93% of the surviving animals after 100 days and in 66% after 200 days. The morphology of long-term allografts was extremely variable from minor to extensive tubular atrophy, interstitial fibrosis, glomerular hypertrophy, focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis and vascular changes. Glomerular hypertrophy occurred in uninephrectomized controls and probably denoted a response to uninephrectomy. Glomerulosclerosis increased with time and was absent in controls. Although chronic damage was evident, the rats remained tolerant to fresh donor skin. Replacement of the original kidney allograft with a fresh donor kidney resulted in 70% survival. These second grafts showed less severe renal dysfunction and morphological damage than the original allografts in the long-term follow up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-9
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1995


  • Animals
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Graft Rejection
  • Kidney
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Survival Rate
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Transplantation, Isogeneic

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    Jablonski, P., Baxter, K., Howden, B. O., Thomas, A. C., Marshall, V. C., Stein-Oakley, A., & Thomson, N. M. (1995). A reproducible model of chronic rejection in rat renal allografts. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery, 65(2), 114-9.