A preclinical model for laryngeal transplantation: Anatomy and mucosal immunology of the porcine larynx

Goutham K. Gorti, Martin A. Birchall, Karin Haverson, Paolo Macchiarini, Mick Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Background. A major step in translating work on laryngeal transplantation into clinical practice is the establishment of a preclinical model. We have investigated the anatomy and mucosal immunology of the porcine larynx in eight Minnesota Minipigs (12-37 weeks). Methods. Neck dissections were carried out and the vascular tree was mapped. Snap-frozen biopsies from epiglottis, supraglottis, glottis, and subglottis were prepared for conventional histology, immunohistochemistry (CD45), and single and two-color immunofluorescence (CD3, MHC-II, CD45). Results. The anatomy of the laryngeal skeleton was broadly similar to that of the human larynx. The blood supply is predominantly via the caudal thyroid vessels, with assistance from the cranial laryngeal artery. The porcine larynx is clearly highly immunologically active. Structured collections of leukocytes were found in the mucosal epithelium, around tubuloacinar glands, and occasionally in the submucosa. MHC-II and CD 3 cells were predominantly found within the epithelium. The highest densities of all cell types were observed in the epiglottis, tailing off caudally. The lowest densities were seen in the vocal cords. Conclusions. The porcine larynx is both anatomically and immunologically similar to the human larynx and contains a high level of immunological organization. It presents an ideal preclinical model for laryngeal transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1638-1642
Number of pages5
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 15 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Immunology


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