In liver transplantation, activation of NFkappaB occurs upon reperfusion, yet few data exist regarding NFkappaB activation during cold ischemia. We hypothesized that activation of NFkappaB may initially occur during cold ischemia, prior to reperfusion, and serve as an important determinant of postreperfusion function. To test this hypothesis, serial biopsies during porcine liver harvest were obtained immediately upon laparotomy, upon completion of dissection, after 45 and 120 min of cold ischemia, and 60 and 180 min after reperfusion. Nuclear extracts were isolated for Western blot analysis of NFkappaB. Hepatic function was assessed through bile output and sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH) activity. NFkappaB expression was maximal at 45 min of cold ischemia and decreased by 120 min. The expression at 120 min of cold ischemia correlated with markers of postreperfusion function, namely bile flow and SDH activity. During reperfusion a second distinct peak occurred at 180 min. Increased expression of NFkappaB at 180 min of reperfusion correlated directly with prior expression at 120 min during cold ischemia and with increased SDH activity. These data indicate that nuclear expression of NFkappaB demonstrate two distinct peaks of activity, one during cold ischemia and one after reperfusion. Enhanced expression of NFkappaB during cold ischemia not only correlates directly with NFkappaB expression during reperfusion, but also correlates inversely with postreperfusion graft function.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.