Murine full-thickness skin transplantation

Chih Hsien Cheng, Chen Fang Lee, Madeline Fryer, Georg J. Furtmüller, Byoungchol Oh, Jonathan D. Powell, Gerald Brandacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Murine full-thickness skin transplantation is a well-established in vivo model to study alloimmune response and graft rejection. Despite its limited application to humans, skin transplantation in mice has been widely employed for transplantation research. The procedure is easy to learn and perform, and it does not require delicate microsurgical techniques nor extensive training. Moreover, graft rejection in this model occurs in a very reproducible immunological reaction and is easily monitored by direct inspection and palpation. In addition, secondary skin transplantation with donor-matched or third-party skin grafts can be performed on more complex transplant models as an alternative and uncomplicated method to assess donor-specific tolerance. The complications are low and are in general limited to anesthesia overdose or respiratory distress after the procedure. Graft failure, on the other hand, occurs commonly as a result of poor preparation of the graft, incorrect positioning in the graft bed, or inappropriate placement of the bandage. In this article, we present a protocol for full-thickness skin transplantation in mice and describe the important steps necessary for a successful procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere55105
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number119
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017


  • Alloimmune
  • Full-thickness skin transplantation
  • Immunology
  • In vivo
  • Issue 119
  • Metabolism
  • Mouse model
  • Rejection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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