Roux en y anastomosis is a preferred method of biliary reconstruction in liver transplantation that involves living donors or pediatric patients. However, biliary stricture is a frequent and serious complication, accounting for up to 40% of biliary complications in these patients. Previously, we demonstrated that extraluminal delivery of adipose-derived (AD) mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) decreased peri-biliary fibrosis and increased neo-angiogenesis in a porcine model of duct-to-duct biliary anastomosis. In this study, we used a porcine model of Roux en y anastomosis to evaluate the beneficial impact of a novel intraluminal MSC delivery system.
Nine animals were divided into three groups: no stent (group 1), bare stent (group 2) and stent coated with AD-MSCs (group 3). All animals underwent cholecystectomy with roux en y choledochojejunostomy. Two animals per group were followed for 4 weeks and one animal per group was followed for 8 weeks. Cholangiograms and blood were sampled at baseline and the end of study. Biliary tissue was collected and examined by Masson trichrome staining and immunohistochemical staining for MSC markers (CD34 and CD44) and for neo-angiogenesis (CD31).
Two of three animals in group 1 developed an anastomotic site stricture. No strictures were observed in the animals of group 2 or group 3. CD34 and CD44 staining showed that AD-MSCs engrafted successfully at the anastomotic site by intraluminal delivery (group 3). Furthermore, biliary tissue from group 3 showed significantly less fibrosis and increased angiogenesis compared with the other groups.
Intraluminal delivery of AD-MSCs resulted in successful biliary engraftment of AD-MSCs as well as reduced peri-biliary fibrosis and increased neo-angiogenesis.

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