• Colon;
  • Transplantation;
  • Development;
  • Morphology


Fourteen-day fetal mouse colon was transplanted under the kidney capsule of an adult mouse to determine whether this system could be used as a model of embryonic colonic development. The 14-day fetal colon was transplanted and left for a period of 7 days. Comparisons of the normal one day postnatal colon and the transplanted colon were made morphologically and morphometrically. It was found that the transplanted fetal colon resembled its postnatal counterpart with respect to morphology; the cell types seen in the transplanted colon were similar to those observed in the in situ colon of the same age. However, morphometric analysis showed that the transplanted colon was significantly smaller than its postnatal counterpart, suggesting that conditions in the host were not optimal to support the full growth of the colon. In spite of this, it appears that the fetal colon can differentiate normally under the kidney capsule and this model can be used to study both epithelial-mesenchymal interactions and the role of hormones in fetal colonic development.© Willey-Liss, Inc.