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H2S supplementation: A novel method for successful organ preservation at subnormothermic temperatures

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Nitric Oxide-Biology and Chemistry



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Renal transplantation is the preferred treatment for end-stage renal disease. Currently, there is a large gap between the supply and demand for transplantable kidneys. The use of sub-optimal grafts obtained via donation after cardiac death (DCD) is on the rise. While static cold storage (SCS) in University of Wisconsin (UW) solution on ice (4 degrees C) is the clinical standard of care for renal graft preservation, cold storage has been associated with negative graft outcomes. The alternative, normothermic machine perfusion, involves mechanical perfusion of the organ at physiological or normothermic temperature (37 degrees C) and this technique is expensive, complicated and globally inaccessible. As such, simpler alternatives are of interest. Preliminary results revealed that UW solution is more protective at 21 degrees C than 37 degrees C and subnormothermic preservation is of interest because it may facilitate the use of existing solutions while preventing cold injury. We have previously shown that SCS in UW solution supplemented with mitochondria-targeted H2S donor AP39 improves renal graft outcomes. As such, it was hypothesized subnormothermic preservation at 21 degrees C with AP39 will also improve renal outcomes. Using an in vitro model of hypoxia and reoxygenation, we found that treating porcine tubular epithelial cells with UW + 5 mu M AP39 during 18 h hypoxia at 21 degrees C significantly increased renal tubular epithelial cell viability after 24 h of reoxygenation at 37 degrees C compared to UW alone. Also, AP39-supplemented UW solution was significantly more cytoprotective during hypoxia at 21 degrees C than hypoxia at 37 degrees C, regardless of AP39 concentration. Using an ex vivo DCD organ preservation model, we found that DCD porcine kidneys stored for 24 h in UW + 200 nM AP39 at 21 degrees C showed significantly lower tissue necrosis than DCD porcine kidneys preserved using SCS in UW solution, the clinical standard of care. Overall, our findings suggest that exogenous H2S supplementation improves the viability of the gold standard organ preservation solution, UW solution, for subnormothermic preservation at 21 degrees C.

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