Orthotopic tracheal transplantation using human bronchus: an original xenotransplant model of obliterative airway disorder

Julien Guihaire, Ryo Itagaki, Mandy Stubbendorff, Xiaoqin Hua, Tobias Deuse, Sebastian Ullrich, Elie Fadel, Peter Dorfmüller, Robert C. Robbins, Hermann Reichenspurner, Udo Schumacher, Sonja Schrepfer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) is a main cause of allograft dysfunction and mortality after lung transplantation (LTx). A better understanding of BOS pathogenesis is needed to overcome this treatment-refractory complication. Orthotopic tracheal transplantation using human bronchus was performed in Brown Norway (BN) and nude (RNU) rats. Allografts were recovered in both strains at Day 7 (BN7, n = 6; RNU7, n = 7) or Day 28 (BN28, n = 6; RNU28, n = 6). Immune response of the host against the bronchial graft was assessed. Human samples from BOS patients were used to compare with the histological features of the animal model. Obstruction of the allograft lumen associated with significant infiltration of CD3+ and CD68+ cells was observed in the BN group on Day 28. Immune response from type 1 T-helper cells against the tracheal xenograft was higher in BN animals compared to nude animals on Days 7 and 28 (P < 0.001 and P = 0.035). Xenoreactive antibodies were significantly higher at Day 7 (IgM) and Day 28 (IgG) in the BN group compared to RNU (respectively, 37.6 ± 6.5 vs. 5.8 ± 0.7 mean fluorescence, P = 0.039; and 22.4 ± 3.8 vs. 6.9 ± 1.6 mean fluorescence, P = 0.011). Immunocompetent animals showed a higher infiltration of S100A4+ cells inside the bronchial wall after 28 days, associated with cartilage damage ranging from invasion to complete destruction. In vitro expression of S100A4 by human fibroblasts was higher when stimulated by mononuclear cells (MNCs) from BN rats than from RNU (2.9 ± 0.1 vs. 2.4 ± 0.1 mean fluorescence intensity, P = 0.005). Similarly, S100A4 was highly expressed in response to human MNCs compared to stimulation by T-cell-depleted human MNCs (4.3 ± 0.2 vs. 2.7 ± 0.1 mean fluorescence intensity, P < 0.001). Obliterative bronchiolitis has been induced in a new xenotransplant model in which chronic airway obstruction was associated with immune activation against the xenograft. Cartilage infiltration by S100A4+ cells might be stimulated by T cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1337-1348
Number of pages12
JournalTransplant International
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • S100A
  • T cells
  • chronic rejection
  • humanized model
  • lung transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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