Scanning Electron Microscopy


To investigate the microstructure of in situ (eutopic) and autotransplanted (ectopic) splenic remnants, adult Sprague-Dawley rats were studied 60 days after 1) subtotal (~80%) splenectomy, 2) total splenectomy followed by single or multiple remnant intraperitoneal autotransplantation, or 3) sham operation. Total nucleated cell counts were determined in excised splenic remnants, and immunohistochemical staining using monoclonal antibodies to rat B-and T-cell antigens was performed in serial tissue sections.

Immunoarchitecture of eutopic remnants was indistinguishable from that of intact spleens and total nucleated cell counts remained proportional to weight. In contrast, ectopic remnants showed sparsity and abnormal mixing of B and T lymphocyte subpopulations with widespread loss of follicles and periarteriolar lymphoid sheaths in addition to lower density and marked reduction of total nucleated cells.

These findings provide immunohistologic evidence that preservation of intact vasculature is critical to splenic architecture, which may account in part for the demonstrable functional inferiority of ectopic remnants.

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