Aging and transplant arteriosclerosis in absence of alloreactivity and immunosuppressive drugs in a rat aortic model: Recipient age's contribution

Marian Calfa, Abdelouahab Aïtouche, Roberta I. Vazquez-Padron, Carlota Gay-Rabinstein, David Lasko, John Badell, Arie Farji, Ahmed El-Haddad, Carlos Liotta, Louis B. Louis, Alric Simmonds, Ivo A. Pestana, Manhui Pang, Sen Li, Si M. Pham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background. Almost half of all transplanted vascularized organ grafts will be lost to transplant arteriosclerosis sometime posttransplantation. Organ shortage for primary transplants and retransplants has led to donor-pool expansion to include elderly donors, knowing that aging per se promotes arteriosclerosis. The current understanding that donor age negatively affects organ and/or patient survival outcome is undermined by variables such as the use of immunosuppressive drugs, their toxicity to the graft, degree of donor-recipient histocompatibility, and the resulting chronic rejection. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the donor's age or recipient's age matters the most in transplant arteriosclerosis in the absence of such variables. Methods. A syngeneic combination was used where young (2-month-old) and old (22-month-old) donor aortas were injured to initiate neointimal thickening, then transplanted into age-mismatched recipients for 14, 60, and 90 days and then assessed for neointimal thickening. Base level injury response due ischemia and surgery was evaluated in age-matched and noninjured aortic grafts, respectively. Results. Young aortas invariably developed thicker neointima when transplanted into old recipients than when transplanted into young ones. Correspondingly, old aortas transplanted in young recipients consistently developed less neointimal thickening than when transplanted into old recipients. Conclusions. Our findings strongly suggest that the severity of age-related neointima formation is primarily determined by the recipient's age rather than the donor's age. Therefore, in addition to focusing on donor-specific tolerance induction, strategies aiming at increasing the lifespan of vascularized organ grafts also have to take into consideration the recipient's aging milieu.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1683-1690
Number of pages8
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 27 2005


  • Aorta/artery
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Graft/transplant
  • Old/aging/young
  • Organ procurement
  • Recipient/donor age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Immunology


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