Cold liver preservation in the University of Wisconsin solution (UW) followed by reperfusion alters hepatic parenchyma and extra cellular matrix. In this study we analyzed the benefit of adding either 500 microM Sodium Nitroprusside (NPNa) or 100 microM S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) as Nitric Oxide (NO) donors to the UW solution to prevent hepatic injury. Wistar adult rat livers were stored in UW solution (0 degrees C) for 48Hs and reperfused (60 minutes) in the isolated perfused rat liver model (IPRL). Untreated livers were used as normal controls. Livers perfused but not preserved were used as controls of reperfusion. Parenchyma damages were evaluated by Hematoxylin-Eosin stain. Picrosirius Red and Gordon-Sweets stains were used for collagen and reticulin networks, respectively. An inmunohistochemistry assay for albumin was used as functional test. Cold preservation step was followed by swollen hepatocytes with "light empty halos" surrounding the nucleus, conserved hepatocyte cords and many rounded endothelial cells. The addition of NPNa or GSNO into UW solution, avoid these alterations. Livers preserved for 48 Hs and then reperfused showed extended areas of vacuolation around central veins, and many endothelial cells were rounded and located inside sinusoidal lumens. The collagen network was disorganized while the reticulin one was less altered. Albumin was distributed preferentially in pericentral areas. On the contrary, livers preserved in presence of NPNa or GSNO did not show vacuolation and both collagen and reticulin networks were unchanged. Albumin was more homogeneously distributed in both groups. In conclusion, the addition of 500 microM NPNa or 100 microM GSNO as a NO donor, improves UW solution properties to preserve rat livers by maintaining the hepatic morphology and avoiding hepatic injury post-cold preservation/reperfusion.