New composite tissue allograft model of vascularized bone marrow transplant: the iliac osteomyocutaneous flap


Maria Siemionow MD, PhD, DSc, Department of Plastic Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, A-60, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA. Tel.: 216 445 2405; fax: 216 444 9419; e-mail:


Vascularized bone marrow transplant (VBMT) induces donor-specific chimerism in experimental models across the major histocompatibility barrier. An experimental model for immunotolerance studies should sustain a high antigenicity with low morbidity. Accordingly, we introduced an iliac bone osteomusculocutaneous (IBOMC) transplant model in rat. It consists of a large skin component and an abundant bone marrow cells (BMC) population. We tested this model with isograft transplantations between Lewis rats (RT1l) and with allograft transplantation between Lewis-Brown Norway (LBN RT1l + n) donors and Lewis (RT1l) recipients under low dose of cyclosporine A monotherapy. Immunologic responses were tested for donor cell engraftment and chimerism induction. All isografts survived indefinitely and allografts were viable at 200 days post-transplant under low dose of cyclosporine A. Microangiography of the graft revealed preservation of skin, muscle, and bone components. Histologic examination confirmed viability of all allograft components without signs of rejection. Long-term engraftment of donor-origin (RT1n) BMC was confirmed by donor-specific chimerism (1.2%) in peripheral blood and bone marrow (1.65%) compartments and by engraftment into lymphoid organs of recipients. The IBOMC transplant proved to be a reliable composite tissue allotransplantation (CTA) model. Moreover, because of its robust bone marrow component and large skin component, it is applicable to studies on immunologic responses in CTA.