Adding the oxygen carrier M101 to a cold-storage solution could be an alternative to HOPE for liver graft preservation

JHEP Rep. 2020 May 8;2(4):100119. doi: 10.1016/j.jhepr.2020.100119. eCollection 2020 Aug.


Background & aims: Hypothermic oxygenated machine perfusion (HOPE) is a promising technique for providing oxygen to the liver during graft preservation; however, because of associated logistical constraints, addition of an oxygen transporter to static cold-storage solutions (SCS) might be easier. M101 is marine worm haemoglobin that has been shown to improve kidney preservation in the clinic when added to SCS. This study evaluated the effects of the addition of M101 to SCS on the quality of pig liver graft preservation.

Methods: Pig liver grafts were preserved using SCS, HOPE, or SCS+M101, and the liver functions were compared during cold preservation and after orthotopic allotransplantation (OLT) in pigs.

Results: During preservation of the liver grafts, mitochondrial function, ATP synthesis, antioxidant capacities, and hepatocyte architecture were better preserved, and free radical production, antioxidant activities, and inflammatory mediators were lower, with HOPE or SCS+M101 than with SCS alone. However, after 1 h of preservation, liver functions with HOPE were superior to those with SCS+M101. After 6 h of preservation and OLT, blood levels of aspartate and alanine aminotransferases and lactate dehydrogenase increased with a peak effect at Day 1 post-transplant; values were similar with HOPE and SCS+M101, and were significantly lower than those in the SCS group. At Days 1 and 3, tumor necrosis factor α levels remained lower with HOPE and SCS+M101 vs. SCS. At Day 7, liver cell necrosis and inflammation were less marked in both oxygenated groups.

Conclusions: When added to SCS, M101 effectively oxygenates liver grafts during preservation, preventing post-transplant injury; although graft performances are below those achieved with HOPE.

Lay summary: When transported between donors and recipients, even cold-stored liver grafts need oxygen to maintain their viability. To provide them with oxygen, we added a marine worm super haemoglobin (M101) to the cold-storage solution UWCS. Using a pig liver transplant model, we revealed that livers cold stored with UWCS+M101 showed improved oxygenation compared with simple cold-storage solutions, but did not reach the oxygenation level achieved with machine perfusion.

Keywords: ALT, alanine aminotransferase; AST, aspartate aminotransferase; Cell necrosis; DCD, deceased after circulatory death; DGF, delayed graft function; HOPE, hypothermic oxygenated machine perfusion; Haemoglobin; Hepatocyte; INR, international normalised ratio; IRI, ischaemia-reperfusion injury; Inflammation; Liver transplantation; Oxidative stress; PT, prothrombin time; SCS, simple cold-storage solutions; UWCSS, University of Wisconsin cold-storage solution.