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Liver Transpl. 2010 Nov;16(11):1267-77. doi: 10.1002/lt.22148.

Inhibition of inducible nitric oxide synthase prevents graft injury after transplantation of livers from rats after cardiac death.

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Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.


This study investigated the roles of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in the failure of rat liver grafts from cardiac death donors (GCDD). Livers were explanted after 30-minute aorta clamping and implanted after 4-hour storage in University of Wisconsin solution. The iNOS expression increased slightly in grafts from non-cardiac death donors (GNCDD) but markedly in GCDD. Serum nitrite and nitrate and hepatic 3-nitrotyrosine adducts, indicators of NO and peroxynitrite production, respectively, were substantially higher after transplantation of GCDD than GNCDD. Production of reactive nitrogen species (RNS) was largely blocked by 1400W (N-[1-naphthyl]ethylenediamine dihydrochloride; 5 μM), a specific iNOS inhibitor. Alanine aminotransferase release, bilirubin, necrosis, and apoptosis were 6.4-fold, 6.5-fold, 2.3-fold, and 2.7-fold higher, respectively, after transplantation of GCDD than GNCDD. The inhibitor 1400W effectively blocked these alterations and also increased survival of GCDD to 80% from 33%. Increased RNS production and failure of GCDD were associated with activation of c-Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK), an effect that was blocked by inhibition of iNOS. Inhibition of JNK also improved the outcome after transplantation of GCDD. Together, the data indicate that iNOS increases substantially in GCDD, leading to RNS overproduction, JNK activation, and more severe graft injury. Inhibitors of iNOS are suggested as effective therapies to improve the outcome after transplantation of GCDD.

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