The hamster cheek pouch has been used extensively to study the modulation of microvascular responsiveness of native and transplanted tissues, because it is immunologically privileged. The purpose of this study was to determine the structural changes that occur over time in bovine lung tissue (donor) that was grafted into the hamster cheek pouch (recipient). Lungs from adult cows were cut into 1-mm-thick slices and grafted into the cheek pouch of adult Syrian golden hamsters (n = 60). After induction of anesthesia, bovine lung tissue was placed under the avascular tissue covering the cheek pouch, and the overlying skin was sutured. Intravital microscopy (IM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of the cheek pouch and grafted tissue were performed 1, 7, 14, and 28 days after grafting. By using IM, we found blood flow throughout the grafted bovine lung tissue between days 7 and 14 post-transplantation. Both IM and TEM showed that the grafted tissue contained patent microvessels anastomosing with cheek pouch microvessels, alveolar structures, and interstitial tissue. Mast cell infiltration around microvessels of the grafted tissue was evident in all animals between days 14 and 28 post-grafting. No other inflammatory cells were identified throughout the observation period. By day 28 post-grafting, the entire lung tissue became fibrotic. We conclude that bovine lung tissue can be successfully transplanted into the hamster cheek pouch, that blood flow is established throughout the graft, and that prominent mast cell infiltration is associated with fibrosis of the graft 28 days after transplantation. We suggest that this model can be useful in studying pulmonary microvascular responses in situ.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Clinical Biochemistry