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Transplantation. 1997 Feb 15;63(3):365-8.

Reduction of proteolysis by venous-systemic oxygen persufflation during rat liver preservation and improved functional outcome after transplantation.

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Institute for Experimental Medicine, University of Cologne, Germany.


An increase of cytosolic proteolytic activity during ischemic preservation and consecutive tissue degradation have recently been recognized as a major pathogenetic factor for liver injury during ischemia/reperfusion. In the present study, we propose a method for preventing proteolytic tissue disintegration, which results in improved recovery of the liver after transplantation. Livers were harvested from rats and stored for 24 hr at 4 degrees C in University of Wisconsin solution (group A). Others were additionally persufflated with gaseous oxygen via the inferior caval vein during this time (group B). At the end of ischemic preservation, proteolysis was confirmed in group A, with significantly elevated tissue levels of free alanine and free amino groups, whereas proteolysis was prevented in group B. After transplantation, the integrity of the graft was significantly improved in group B, in which there was a 50% reduction of plasma activities of alanine amino-transferase and a twofold increase in hepatic bile production after the onset of reperfusion, as compared with group A. Moreover, venous-systemic oxygen persufflation during cold preservation significantly attenuated the rise in plasma levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) after liver transplantation. In conclusion, venous-systemic oxygen persufflation during ischemic storage prevents tissue proteolysis and reduces parenchymal injury after transplantation in vivo; this technique may, thus, represent a useful adjunct in long-term liver preservation with University of Wisconsin solution.

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