Test of long-term uterine survival after allogeneic transplantation in rabbits

Srdjan Saso, Simon Hurst, Jayanta Chatterjee, Eugene Kuzmin, Yau Thum, Anna L. David, Nadey Hakim, David J. Corless, Michael Boyd, David E. Noakes, Iain Lindsay, Sadaf Ghaem-Maghami, Giuseppe Del Priore, J. Richard Smith

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13 Scopus citations


Aim: To see if: (i) a large vessel aortocaval vascular patch technique may bring about long-term graft survival after allogeneic uterine transplantation (UTn) in a rabbit model; and (ii) fertility can be achieved following natural mating post-allogeneic UTn. Methods: Allogeneic uterine cross transplantations were performed in New Zealand white rabbits using an aortocaval macrovascular patch harvested as part of the uterine allograft. Five rabbit recipients received a uterine graft from five unrelated donor rabbits. All female rabbits were unrelated and were of proven fertility with at least one previous litter each. Tacrolimus was administrated for immunosuppression post-transplant. Natural mating was attempted if long-term survival had been achieved. The main outcome measures were: (i) long-term recipient survival; (ii) long-term adequate uterine perfusion; and (iii) successful pregnancy post-UTn. Results: All five recipient animals survived the surgery with satisfactory immediate postoperative recovery. Recipients 1, 2 and 4 died within the first 4 postoperative days. Both long-term survivors failed to conceive following introduction of a proven male breeder despite evidence of mating. Necropsy at 9 and 11 months showed a lack of patency of uterine cornua at the point of anastomosis, albeit a small uterus in recipient 3 and a reddish brown amorphous material at the site of the transplanted uterus in recipient 5. Conclusion: We have demonstrated the feasibility of uterine allotransplantation using a macrovascular patch technique, but could not demonstrate conception because of blocked cornua. To address this, we propose using embryo transfer techniques in order to achieve conception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)754-762
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Allogeneic uterine transplantation
  • Fertility
  • Graft survival
  • Rabbit model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Medicine(all)

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    Saso, S., Hurst, S., Chatterjee, J., Kuzmin, E., Thum, Y., David, A. L., Hakim, N., Corless, D. J., Boyd, M., Noakes, D. E., Lindsay, I., Ghaem-Maghami, S., Del Priore, G., & Smith, J. R. (2014). Test of long-term uterine survival after allogeneic transplantation in rabbits. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research, 40(3), 754-762. https://doi.org/10.1111/jog.12256