Comparative histopathology of hepatic allografts and xenografts in the nonhuman primate

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Liver transplantation was performed in the following groups: Group 1, baboon-to-baboon allografting (n = 8) (control group); Group 2, ABO-compatible vervet monkey-to-baboon xenografting (n = 8); Group 3, ABO-incompatible vervet monkey-to-baboon xenografting (n = 6); Group 4, pig-to-baboon xenografting (n = 2); and Group 5, pig-to-rhesus monkey xenografting (n = 6). Immunosuppressive therapy (cyclosporine, cyclophosphamide, and methylprednisolone) was begun 2-7 days before liver transplantation (LTx) and continued indefinitely after LTx. The liver grafts were biopsied pre-LTx and subsequently post-LTx at approximately 1 hr, 2-3 hr, 7-10 days, 20-30 days, 60 days, 120 days, and at euthanasia or spontaneous death. There were 19 successful LTxs with grafts functioning from one hour to 123 days. No pig liver (Groups 4 and 5) survived more than 5.5 hr, as there was an immediate severe vascular response after reperfusion, typical of hyperacute rejection (congestion and hemorrhage). Vascular rejection was not seen in allografts (Group 1), but early mild-to-moderate congestion and neutrophil infiltration were present in concordant xenografts (Groups 2 and 3), which were associated with moderate deposition of immunoglobulin, C3, and fibrinogen. Lymphoid cell infiltration, bile duct damage, and portal vein endothelialitis in the portal zones occurred later in both allografts (Group 1) and concordant xenografts (Groups 2 and 3), developing earlier in the presence of ABO-incompatibility(Group 3). In concordant xenografts it was usually followed by fibrosis.

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