In this study, the authors evaluated whether the pretransplant portal venous administration of UV-B irradiated donor alloantigen would induce tolerance to long peripheral nerve allografts in a swine model. They completed nerve allograft transplantation between four swine of separate lineages. Regeneration across the nerve allografts was followed for 10 months postoperatively. Sequential in vitro assays demonstrated the successful and prolonged suppression of the recipient immune response to donor antigen following antigen inoculation. Histomorphometric analysis demonstrated successful regeneration across the long nerve allografts in the pretreated recipients, but not across allografts in unimmunosuppressed recipients. A single pretransplant antigen delivery protocol has the potential to replace chronic medicinal immunosuppressant therapy and its associated morbidities. Furthermore, tolerance to long nerve allografts has immediate applicability to clinical requirements for bridging multiple, complex, long nerve gaps.
- Antigen pretreatment
- Donor-specific immunosuppression
- Long nerve allograft
- UV-B irradiation