Purpose: To analyze the morphologic regeneration of autotransplanted splenic tissue in Wistar rats and to determine the bacterial phagocytic function of their macrophages. Methods: We utilized an experimental model including young and adult rats, of both sexes, submitted to total splenectomy combined with autotransplantation in the greater omentum of slices of the whole mass of spleen. Sixteen weeks later animals were intravenously inoculated with a suspension of Escherichia coli AB1157, and twenty minutes later killed with lethal dose of halothane and submitted to laparotomy for splenic autotransplants retrieval. Data were analyzed statistically by de Student-t test, with emphasis on the comparison of the extent level of autotransplanted splenic mass regeneration between young and adult animals of both sexes. Results: There was regeneration of autotransplanted splenic tissue in all animals. Young males and adult females presented greater regeneration. A similar morphological aspect among all animals was observed, with splenic tissue showing red and white pulps with a moderate architectural disarrangement, as well as lymphoid follicles. Blood vessels showed preserved walls, with no signs of vasculitis or thrombosis. Macrophages containing bacterial aggregates were observed, as well as macrophages with hemosiderin pigments inside the cytoplasm. Conclusion: The present results suggest that splenic autotransplant in the greater omentum of the rat acquires the macro- and microscopic architecture of a normal spleen, with reduced dimensions, and preserves bacterial phagocyte function.
Spleen; Transplantation, Autologous; Regeneration; Phagocytosis; Splenectomy