A novel way of liver preservation improves rat liver viability upon reperfusion
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Currently, the liver is cold-preserved at 0∼4 °C for experimental and clinical purposes. Here, we investigated whether milder hypothermia during the initial phase of the preservation period was beneficial for liver viability upon reperfusion.
In the first set of experiments, rat livers were preserved either conventionally in clinically used histidine-trypthopan-ketoglutarate (HTK) solution (Group A: 45 min and Group B: 24 h) or by slow cooling HTK solution (from 13 °C to 3 °C) during the initial 45 min of preservation (Group C: 24 h). In the second set of experiments, additional groups of livers were evaluated: Group BB—preservation according to Group B and Group CC—preservation according to Group C. Further, some livers were preserved at 13 °C for 24 h. Livers were then reperfused using a blood-free perfusion model.
Bile production was approximately 2-fold greater in Group C compared to Group B. Alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) release into perfusate were 2∼3-fold higher in Group B compared to Group C. No significant differences were found in ALT and AST release between Group C and Group A. Livers in Group CC compared to Group BB exhibited significantly lower portal resistance, greater oxygen consumption and bromosulfophthalein excretion into bile and lower lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release into perfusate. Histological evaluation of tissue sections in Group BB showed parenchymal dystrophy of hepatocytes, while dystrophy of hepatocytes was absent in Group CC. Livers preserved at 13 °C for 24 h exhibited severe ischemic injury.
These results suggest that the conventional way of liver preservation is not suitable at least for rat livers and that slow cooling of HTK solution during the initial phase of cold storage can improve liver viability during reperfusion.
Key wordsRat Hepatic graft Cold ischemia Liver protection Histidine-trypthopan-ketoglutarate solution (HTK)
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