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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 5205476, 6 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Immunosuppressive Therapy Use for Tracheal Transplantation with Trachea-Mimetic Bellows Scaffolds in a Rabbit Model

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, POSTECH, Pohang 790-784, Republic of Korea
2Veterinary Medical Center, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 361-763, Republic of Korea
3College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Dong-Woo Cho;

Received 24 April 2017; Accepted 10 September 2017; Published 26 October 2017

Academic Editor: Xin-yuan Guan

Copyright © 2017 Jae Yeon Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of immunosuppressive therapy with high-dose cyclosporine, high-dose azathioprine, and a combination of low-dose cyclosporine and azathioprine after tracheal reconstruction by using a trachea-mimetic graft of polycaprolactone (PCL) bellows-type scaffold in a rabbit model. Twenty-four healthy New Zealand white rabbits were used in the study. All underwent circumferential tracheal replacement using tissue-engineered tracheal graft, prepared from PCL bellows scaffold reinforced with silicone ring, collagen hydrogel, and human turbinate mesenchymal stromal cell (hTMSC) sheets. The control group (Group 1) received no medication. The three experimental groups were given daily cyclosporine intramuscular doses of 10 mg/kg (Group 2), azathioprine oral doses of 5 mg/kg (Group 3), and azathioprine oral doses of 2.5 mg/kg plus cyclosporine intramuscular doses of 5 mg/kg (Group 4) for 4 weeks or until death. Group 1 had longer survival times compared to Group 2 or Group 3. Each group except for Group 1 experienced decreases in amount of nutrition and weight loss. In addition, compared with the other groups, Group 2 had significantly increased serum interleukin-2 and interferon- levels 7 days after transplantation. The results of this study showed that the administration of cyclosporine and/or azathioprine after tracheal transplantation had no beneficial effects. Furthermore, the administration of cyclosporine had side effects, including extreme weight loss, respiratory distress, and diarrhea. Therefore, cyclosporine and azathioprine avoidance may be recommended for tracheal reconstruction using a native trachea-mimetic graft of PCL bellows-type scaffold in a rabbit model.