Background. Orthotopic liver transplantation in the mouse is an extremely demanding procedure. Since the mouse, however, would be a good model for the study of various transplantation-related problems, we designed a new surgical technique for cervical heterotopic arterialized reduced-size liver transplantation. Methods. Eighty percent hepatectomy was performed ex vivo and the remaining liver segment was transplanted to the neck of the recipient. The donor aorta was anastomosed to the right common carotid artery, the portal vein to the distal right external jugular vein, and the donor suprahepatic vena cava to the proximal right external jugular vein using a cuff technique. The bile duct was brought out as a cutaneous stoma. Results. This relatively simple technique was performed in 22 BALB/C mice and associated with a high success rate: three mice died within 5 days due to surgical complications. All grafts in survivors were structurally normal until postoperative day 7 and began to show histological signs of atrophy around day 14. Conclusions. It is concluded that this technique may be useful for preservation, regeneration and reperfusion studies, and factors responsible for the maintenance of hepatocyte integrity in heterotopic liver transplantation. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
- Surgical technique
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