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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2002 Jul;13(7):1937-45.

Normalization of brain death-induced injury to rat renal allografts by recombinant soluble P-selectin glycoprotein ligand.

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Surgical Research Laboratory, Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Donor brain death has been considered a significant risk factor for both early and late organ allograft dysfunction. This central injury not only evokes an upsurge of catecholamines with resultant peripheral tissue vasoconstriction and ischemia but also promotes release of hormones and inflammatory mediators that may also affect the organs directly. One of the resultant influences of these events is the rapid upregulation of the acute-phase adhesion molecules, the selectins. These initiate leukocyte adhesion to vascular endothelium and trigger subsequent cellular and molecular changes in the compromised tissues. An established F344 --> LEW rat model of chronic rejection was used to examine (1) whether the initial inflammatory events that develop within kidney allografts from brain-dead donors could be normalized using a recombinant soluble form of P-selectin glycoprotein ligand and (2) whether amelioration of these early changes would alter the inexorable progression of chronic allograft rejection. Untreated living donor controls experienced unrelenting chronic rejection over time. This complex process was accelerated in brain-dead donor kidneys. Treatment with P-selectin glycoprotein ligand prevented the early inflammatory changes in the transplanted organs and their subsequent (200 d) functional and morphologic manifestations, particularly when the soluble ligand was administered both to the donor before organ removal and to the recipient after engraftment. This strategy of using a naturally occurring selectin ligand to prevent donor-associated chronic graft dysfunction may be of special clinical interest in cadaver donor transplantation.

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