Techniques of Skin, Renal, and Vascular Transplantation in the Rat

  • U. M. Darr
  • G. Tellides


The principles of transplantation immunology have evolved rapidly over the past 50 years based on an increasing number of experimental animal models. The earliest model developed to investigate allograft immune responses in the modern era of transplantation was skin grafting in rabbits [7] which was later applied to rodents [2]. The survival of skin grafts between inbred strains of laboratory animals was utilized by early investigators to define transplantation tolerance and establish the genetic basis of cell-mediated allograft rejection. Whole organ transplantation models in rodents were subsequently developed with progress in microsurgical techniques and in response to problems in clinical organ transplantation. The first small animal vascularized organ graft model was kidney transplantation in the rat [4, 9]. Studies with perfused rat kidneys and rat pedicle skin grafts showed that the immune response to vascularized organ allografts differs from that of a free skin graft [1,10], and rat renal transplantation became a basic model in studying the mechanisms of allograft rejection. Methods for aortic transplantation in the rat [11, 13] were later utilized largely as experimental models of transplant arteriosclerosis. The procedures described here represent techniques from the Nuffield Department of Surgery, Oxford [3], and are performed with few modifications.


Renal Artery Renal Vessel Stay Suture Free Skin Graft Midline Laparotomy Incision 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

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  • U. M. Darr
  • G. Tellides

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