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Am J Transplant. 2011 Nov;11(11):2499-507. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2011.03700.x. Epub 2011 Aug 30.

Sotrastaurin, a protein kinase C inhibitor, ameliorates ischemia and reperfusion injury in rat orthotopic liver transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Division of Liver and Pancreas Transplantation, Dumont-UCLA Transplant Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Sotraustaurin (STN), a small molecule, targeted protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor that prevents T-lymphocyte activation via a calcineurin-independent pathway, is currently being tested in Phase II renal and liver transplantation clinical trials. We have documented the key role of activated T cells in the inflammation cascade leading to liver ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI). This study explores putative cytoprotective functions of STN in a clinically relevant rat model of hepatic cold ischemia followed by orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). Livers from Sprague-Dawley rats were stored for 30 h at 4°C in UW solution, and then transplanted to syngeneic recipients. STN treatment of liver donors/recipients or recipients only prolonged OLT survival to >90% (vs. 40% in controls), decreased hepatocellular damage and improved histological features of IRI. STN treatment decreased activation of T cells, and diminished macrophage/neutrophil accumulation in OLTs. These beneficial effects were accompanied by diminished apoptosis, NF-κB/ERK signaling, depressed proapoptotic cleaved caspase-3, yet upregulated antiapoptotic Bcl-2/Bcl-xl and hepatic cell proliferation. In vitro, STN decreased PKCθ/IκBα activation and IL-2/IFN-γ production in ConA-stimulated spleen T cells, and diminished TNF-α/IL-1β in macrophage-T cell cocultures. This study documents positive effects of STN on liver IRI in OLT rat model that may translate as an additional benefit of STN in clinical liver transplantation.

©2011 The Authors Journal compilation © 2011 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.

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