Background. Transplantation of developing metanephroi into adult hosts has been proposed as a means to augment host renal function. Methods. We implanted whole metanephroi from embryonic day 15 (E15) rats subcapsularly in kidneys or into the omentum of non-immunosupressed adult rat hosts. At the time of implantation, some host rats underwent unilateral nephrectomy (UNX) or unilateral nephrectomy and partial contralateral renal infarction (1 1/4 NX). E15 metanephroi contained only metanephric blastema, segments of ureteric bud, and primitive nephrons with no glomeruli. Results. Four to six weeks post-implantation, metanephroi from E15 rats had enlarged, become vascularized, and had formed mature tubules and glomeruli. Ureters of metanephroi transplanted into the omentum were anastomosed to hosts' ureters that remained after UNX. Four weeks following ureteroureterostomy, the contralateral kidney was removed. Inulin clearances of seven metanephroi implanted into UNX hosts averaged 0.11 ± 0.02 μl/min/100 g (2.42 ± 0.70 μl/min/g kidney wt) and the creatinine clearances averaged 0.65 ± 0.18 μl/min/100 g. Metanephroi weighed 71 ± 15 mg (approximately 4% of the contralateral native kidney). The transplanted metanephroi were vascularized by arteries originating from the omentum. Both weights of transplanted metanephroi (145 ± 24 mg) and inulin clearances of transplanted metanephroi (30.1 ± 8.7 μl/min/g kidney weight) were significantly increased in rats that underwent 1 1/4 NX compared to UNX. In contrast, transplantation of developed kidneys resulted in rejection. Conclusions. Our findings establish that functional chimeric kidneys develop from metanephroi transplanted in adult hosts.
- Chimeric kidneys
- Renal function