Experimental Vascularized Bone Allograft Transplantation
The immediate vascularization of bone allografts by microsurgical anastomosis of donor and host vessels is a theoretically appealing way to avoid problems related to graft nonviability inherent in nonvascularized bone allografts. However, these grafts are subjected to immunologic rejection similar to organ allografts. To determine the immunologic and morphologic consequences of the transplantation of vascularized bone allografts; a series of experiments using a genetically defined rat model was performed. The specific aims were (a) to develop a reliable model for heterotopic and orthotopic vascularized bone allograft transplantation; (b) to determine the role of genetic disparity on allograft survival; (c) to define histologic criteria for rejection; (d) to assess the cellular and humoral arms of the immune response to vascularized bone allografts; (e) to determine the role of nonspecific (cyclosporine) and specific (tolerance, enhancement) immunosuppression on graft survival; and (f) to assess the healing properties of vascularized bone allografts.