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J Heart Lung Transplant. 1998 Dec;17(12):1238-46.

Heat shock pretreatment protects pulmonary isografts from subsequent ischemia-reperfusion injury.

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Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.



Heat shock has been associated with the acquisition of tolerance to a wide variety of stressful conditions, including ischemia. This is partly mediated by the production of various heat shock proteins (HSP), including HSP70. One novel approach to the reduction of ischemia-reperfusion injury after lung transplantation is the induction of HSP70 by heat pretreatment of the donor. The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of this approach in an animal model of lung transplantation.


Animals were divided into six main groups, with groups I to III representing transplanted animals: In groups I and II, donor animals were anesthetized and then underwent heat stress 6 and 12 hours before organ harvest, respectively. Control animals underwent general anesthesia but no heat stress. After harvest, left lungs from groups I to III were preserved for 18 hours at 40 degrees C and then implanted into isogeneic recipients, which were killed 24 hours after reperfusion to assess graft function. Group IV and V animals underwent heat stress followed by a recovery period of 6 and 12 hours, respectively. Lungs were collected both at the time of harvest (right lungs) and after 18 hours of cold preservation (left lungs). Group VI served as nontransplanted controls. Groups IV to VI did not undergo lung transplantation.


At the time of harvest but before implantation, HSP70 was significantly increased in heat-shocked nontransplanted donor lungs (groups IV and V) compared with group VI controls. After 18 hours of cold preservation, HSP70 levels were higher in group IV compared with group V and group VI controls. At 24 hours after reperfusion, mean arterial oxygenation was significantly higher in group I compared with group II and group III controls (290.25+/-24.5 vs 154.5+/-23.9 and 119.6+/-11.3 mm Hg, respectively; P < .001). Myeloperoxidase activity was improved in group I compared with group III controls (0.048+/-0.018 vs 0.137+/-0.036 deltaOD/mg/min, respectively; P < .05). The wet/dry weight ratio was also improved in group I compared with group III controls (6.2+/-0.3 vs. 7.8+/-0.4, respectively; P < .05).


Heat pretreatment of the donor 6 hours before harvest results in increased synthesis of HSP70, which offers a dramatic protective effect against subsequent ischemia-reperfusion injury in the lung isograft.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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