We aimed to investigate the role of phosphatidylinositol 3 (PI3)-kinase/Akt pathway on ischemic injury. Rat liver grafts were preserved in UW solution with different treatments and were compared by 1-week survival rates and morphological changes with those of the control group. PI3-kinase/Akt was significantly activated at the sites of Thr 308 and Ser 473 in the preserved grafts. Downstream target proteins, glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK-3beta) and caspase-9, were inactivated. However, survival signal transduction from Akt to Bad was blocked by calcium release after activation of PI3-kinase/Akt. Significant activation of caspase-12, -3 and -7 contributed to cell apoptosis and severe ischemic injury was shown after 7 h of preservation by UW solution with insulin. Downregulation of phospho-Akt at Thr 308 and Ser 473 was due to partial inhibition of PI3-kinase/Akt pathway by LY294002. Activation of GSK-3beta and inactivation of caspase-12 and Bad could be found in the LY294002 groups in which the liver grafts showed less ischemic injury. Higher 1-week survival rates in the heparin, LY294002, and glucagon groups confirmed the dysregulation of the pathway. In conclusion, PI3-kinase/Akt pathway was dysregulated and contributed to ischemic injury during preservation. Heparin and LY294002 could improve graft viability by maintaining calcium homeostasis during preservation.