Generation of vascular chimerism within donor organs

Shahar Cohen*, Shirly Partouche, Michael Gurevich, Vladimir Tennak, Vadym Mezhybovsky, Dmitry Azarov, Sarit Soffer-Hirschberg, Benny Hovav, Hagit Niv-Drori, Chana Weiss, Adi Borovich, Guy Cohen, Avital Wertheimer, Golan Shukrun, Moshe Israeli, Vered Yahalom, Dorit Leshem-Lev, Leor Perl, Ran Kornowski, Arnon WiznitzerAna Tobar, Meora Feinmesser, Eytan Mor, Eli Atar, Eviatar Nesher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Whole organ perfusion decellularization has been proposed as a promising method to generate non-immunogenic organs from allogeneic and xenogeneic donors. However, the ability to recellularize organ scaffolds with multiple patient-specific cells in a spatially controlled manner remains challenging. Here, we propose that replacing donor endothelial cells alone, while keeping the rest of the organ viable and functional, is more technically feasible, and may offer a significant shortcut in the efforts to engineer transplantable organs. Vascular decellularization was achieved ex vivo, under controlled machine perfusion conditions, in various rat and porcine organs, including the kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, aorta, hind limbs, and pancreas. In addition, vascular decellularization of selected organs was performed in situ, within the donor body, achieving better control over the perfusion process. Human placenta-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) were used as immunologically-acceptable human cells to repopulate the luminal surface of de-endothelialized aorta (in vitro), kidneys, lungs and hind limbs (ex vivo). This study provides evidence that artificially generating vascular chimerism is feasible and could potentially pave the way for crossing the immunological barrier to xenotransplantation, as well as reducing the immunological burden of allogeneic grafts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13437
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


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