Evaluation of rat liver apoptotic and necrotic cell death after cold storage using UW, HTK, and Celsior

Transplantation. 2002 Aug 27;74(4):458-64. doi: 10.1097/00007890-200208270-00005.


Background: The benefit of Celsior in liver graft preservation is controversial. In the isolated perfused rat liver model, we compared the effects of Celsior, University of Wisconsin (UW), and histidine-tryptophan-ketoglutarate (HTK) preservation solutions on liver cell death.

Methods: Rat livers were stored at 4 degrees C for 0, 8, 16, or 24 hr in either Celsior, UW, or HTK and reperfused for 90 min (37 degrees C). Bile secretion and perfusate levels of liver enzymes and histone-associated DNA fragments were measured. Apoptosis and oncotic necrosis were analyzed in biopsies by DNA gel electrophoresis, hematoxylin and eosin histology, and enzyme histochemistry for lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and 5'-nucleotidase (5'-NT).

Results: Perfusate flow rate through the liver during perfusion did not significantly differ among preservation solutions. Bile secretion was best preserved in UW livers after 16-hr (versus HTK livers) and 24-hr storage (versus HTK and Celsior livers). Enzyme leakage from UW livers was lower compared with HTK livers after 8-hr storage (serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase [SGOT], LDH) and with Celsior and HTK livers after 16-hr (SGOT, LDH) and 24-hr storage (SGOT, serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase, LDH, purine nucleoside phosphorylase). In situ LDH and 5'-NT activities were best preserved in UW livers (up to 24 hr), whereas enzyme activities declined remarkably in HTK livers (after 8 hr) and Celsior livers (after 16 hr of cold storage). Although perfusate DNA fragment levels were repeatedly lowest from Celsior livers, apoptotic DNA laddering and the number of fragmented nuclei in hematoxylin and eosin sections was not different among livers after 8, 16, or 24 hr of storage.

Conclusions: Celsior and UW are equally effective in preventing rat liver cell death after 0-16 hr of cold preservation as compared with the less effective HTK solution. After 24-hr cold storage, rat livers were best preserved in UW. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in mode of cell death (apoptosis or oncotic necrosis) after storage in any of the three solutions.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / pharmacology*
  • Alanine Transaminase / metabolism
  • Allopurinol / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / metabolism
  • Bile / metabolism
  • Cold Temperature
  • DNA Fragmentation
  • Disaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Electrolytes / pharmacology*
  • Glucose / pharmacology*
  • Glutamates / pharmacology*
  • Glutathione / pharmacology*
  • Histidine / pharmacology*
  • Insulin / pharmacology*
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Male
  • Mannitol / pharmacology*
  • Necrosis
  • Organ Preservation Solutions*
  • Organ Preservation*
  • Potassium Chloride / pharmacology*
  • Procaine / pharmacology*
  • Raffinose / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Bretschneider cardioplegic solution
  • Celsior
  • Disaccharides
  • Electrolytes
  • Glutamates
  • Insulin
  • Organ Preservation Solutions
  • University of Wisconsin-lactobionate solution
  • Mannitol
  • Histidine
  • Procaine
  • Allopurinol
  • Potassium Chloride
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase
  • Glutathione
  • Glucose
  • Adenosine
  • Raffinose