Persistence of allografts in the peritoneal cavity after prenatal transplantation in mice

Jeng Chang Chen, Ming-Ling Chang, Marcus O. Muench*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: In utero transplantation (IUT) is usually performed by intraperitoneal injection, but there is little information regarding the fate of intraperitoneally transplanted cells in the first weeks after transplantation. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Fetal transplantation was performed in a B6D2F 1 (C57BL/6 × DBA/2, H-2b/d) into C57BL/6 (H-2b) murine strain combination at the gestational age of 13 days by intraperitoneal injection of light-density marrow cells. Adult C57BL/6 mice were used as the postnatal transplantation group. Donor cell levels in the peritoneum, peripheral blood, and various hematopoietic tissues were examined by flow cytometry. RESULTS: After fetal transplantation, peritoneal chimerism could be detected for 4 weeks, ranging from 0.02 to 23.2 percent with the highest median chimerism at 2 weeks after transplantation. Donor cells in the peripheral blood, spleen, marrow, liver, and thymus were usually low (<0.2%) with a tendency for higher donor cell levels at 2 weeks after transplantation. Engraftment in fetal peritoneum was primarily by myeloid and B cells with few T cells. In contrast, adult mice transplanted with haplogeneic marrow cleared nearly all donor cells from the peritoneum within a week of transplant. There was no evidence showing that donor cells had ever migrated to any hematopoietic tissues after adult transplantation. CONCLUSION: Despite limited engraftment in hematopoietic tissues, donor cells persisted in the peritoneum for 2 weeks or longer after fetal transplantation. The fetal peritoneum may serve as a sanctuary for foreign cells in the fetus, which may aid the development of novel cellular therapies for birth defects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-560
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - 03 2008
Externally publishedYes


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