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J Invest Surg. 2019 Mar 1:1-8. doi: 10.1080/08941939.2018.1556753. [Epub ahead of print]

Protective Effects of Ischemic Preconditioning Protocols on Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury in Rat Liver.

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a Organ Transplantation Center, the First Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University , Kunming , China.



Hepatic ischemia reperfusion injury often leads to increased complications and mortality after surgery. Although ischemic preconditioning is used as a convenient and effective method to protect the liver from warm ischemia reperfusion injury, the optimal protocol is currently unclear. Therefore, in this study, we sought to identify ideal conditions and methods for ischemic preconditioning.


We compared several preconditioning protocols of the ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) cycle in 30 male Sprague-Dawley rats (5 groups, n = 6), including relevant sham and I/R injury (no preconditioning) controls. Experimental group conditions included: (1) ischemia for 5 min/reperfusion for 10 min (ischemic preconditioning 1, IPC-1); (2) ischemia for 5 min/reperfusion for 5 min, repeated three times (IPC-2); and (3) ischemia for 10 min/reperfusion for 10 min (IPC-3). Readouts included transaminase activity levels measured from collected sera, and histopathological changes, liver cell apoptosis, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, glutathione (GSH) levels, and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels measured from collected liver tissue segments subjected to warm ischemia (that is from the 70% of the liver mass that had been deprived from blood flow during the ischemia phase).


Compared to the I/R control group, the IPC-1, IPC-2, and IPC-3 groups all showed significant decreases in liver transaminase activity levels, alleviation of pathological injury-associated changes, and a decrease in liver cell apoptosis. Moreover, SOD activity and GSH content were increased while MDA content was decreased in the three experimental groups. Compared to the IPC-1 and IPC-3 groups, the changes in the IPC-2 group were the most significant (P < 0.05).


Ischemic preconditioning can reduce hepatic warm ischemia reperfusion injury in rats. The IPC-2 protocol, involving ischemia for 5 min and reperfusion for 5 min, repeated three times, provided the optimal protection against hepatic ischemia reperfusion injury among the protocols studied.


ischemia reperfusion injury; ischemic preconditioning; protocol; rat

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