Autogenous splenic implant seems to be the only alternative for preservation of splenic tissue after total splenectomy. This work was carried out to analyze the morphologic regeneration of autotransplanted splenic tissue in Wistar rats and to determine the bacterial phagocytic function of their macrophages. We utilized an experimental model with thirty-two rats, of both sexes, submitted to total splenectomy combined with autotransplantation in greater omentum of slices of the whole spleen mass. The animals were divided into two groups: I - young rats weighing 100 to 150 g; and II - adult rats weighing 250 to 300 g. Sixteen weeks later animals were intravenously inoculated with a suspension of Escherichia coli AB1157. Twenty minutes after inoculation, the animals were sacrificed and the splenic autotransplants were removed for morphological study. There was regeneration of autotransplanted splenic tissue in all animals. A similar morphological aspect among all animals was observed, with splenic tissue showing red and white pulps, lymphoid follicles, and marginal zone, with a moderate architectural disarrangement. Macrophages containing gram-negative bacterial aggregates as well as macrophages with hemosiderin pigments within the cytoplasm were observed. Blood vessels showed preserved walls, with no signs of vasculitis or thrombosis. The present results suggest that autogenous splenic implants in the greater omentum of the rat acquire the macro- and microscopic architecture of a normal spleen, with reduced dimensions, and preserve bacterial phagocyte function.
spleen; splenectomy; autogenous splenic implant; splenic autotransplant; regeneration; macrophage; bacterial phagocytosis; sepsis