BACKGROUND/AIMS: Pre-transplant blood transfusions have previously shown a positive effect on organ allograft survival in humans and various animal species. The aims of this study were, first, to evaluate the effect of pre-transplant donor-specific blood transfusions on periodontal healing of fully developed allotransplanted teeth in monkeys; and second, to investigate the immune response against donor antigens and to determine a possible correlation between alloimmune reactions and histopathological signs of rejection.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Twenty monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) were divided into ten pairs with similar sizes of incisors. One monkey in each pair gave three transfusions to the other monkey with 1-week intervals. One week after the last transfusion, each pair exchanged simultaneously a central maxillary incisor and a lateral mandibular incisor. The corresponding central maxillary and mandibular lateral incisors were autotransplanted to the contralateral sockets. All teeth were treated endodontically per-operatively. Histocompatibility was evaluated by mixed lymphocyte culture before the first transfusion, while alloantibodies and cell-mediated alloresponses were measured before transfusions and at 2 and 8 weeks after transplantation. All animals were sacrificed 8 weeks after tooth transplantation. Serial sections of the transplanted teeth were quantified histologically.
RESULTS: Mixed lymphocyte cultures showed positive reactions in 19 of 20 cases, indicating incompatibility. The majority of the monkeys developed antibodies towards the tooth donor. Cell-mediated cytotoxicity was negative in all monkeys. Histoquantification revealed a mean score of 70% normal periodontal ligament (PDL) in autotransplanted teeth, with 5% ankylosis. The allografts had a mean score of 17% normal PDL and 63% ankylosis, with no significant influence of transfusion. However, in the mandibular grafts, a tendency towards a positive transfusion effect was seen.
CONCLUSIONS: Donor-specific blood transfusion did not reduce ankylosis in tooth allografts. The healing of mandibular incisor tooth allografts was improved, but not that of maxillary incisors. Donor-specific antibodies showed no effect on the survival of allograft PDL.