Master of Science (MS)


Veterinary Medical Sciences - Pathobiological Sciences

Document Type



The use of a porcine model in assessing bone grafts in vivo is common when a large animal model is necessary. In this thesis we aimed to improve the porcine model of facial reconstruction through the use of a local anesthesia and novel methods of assessing the immune response to and bone forming ability of adult adipose derived mesenchymal stromal cells (ASC). The goals of the research were: 1) evaluate the effect of a bupivacaine mandibular nerve block on blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) in response to surgical stimulation and the need for systemic analgesics postoperatively, 2) quantify circulating T and B cell populations, 3) measure serum levels of biomarker for bone metabolism; 4) assess correlations between circulating biomarkers and surgical site bone volume and surface area. 14 adult, male Yucatan miniature pigs were utilized for the studies. The anesthesia study separated the pigs equally between two groups: saline control and bupivacaine nerve block. BP and HR were monitored during surgery and a custom ethogram was used to assess pain postoperatively. The ASC study assigned the pigs to three groups: no implant (NI), bovine xenograft (S), and bovine xenograft with autogenous ASCs (ASC). Characterization of peripheral lymphocyte populations was done with flowcytometry using antibodies against porcine CD4, CD8, CD3, and CD21. Six ELISA kits for biomarkers of bone remodeling were used to measure serum levels. The anesthesia study demonstrated improved surgical HR and BP control with a bupivacaine mandibular block in conjunction with systemic analgesics but no improvement in postoperative analgesia. In the graft response study, the ASC group demonstrated significantly lower levels of circulating CD4+/CD8+, CD4+/CD8-, and CD3+/CD4+ lymphocyte populations. Serum levels of Carboxy-terminal cross-linked telopeptide of type I collagen were significantly elevated in the ASC group while levels of osteocalcin were lower. Bone specific alkaline phosphatase was significantly lower in both the ASC and S groups compared to NI. The findings in these studies help to improve how we utilize the porcine model and will help lead to a better understanding of the immune system and biomarker response in pigs.



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Committee Chair

Elzer, Philip H