Mitochondria as Therapeutic Targets in Transplantation

Trends Mol Med. 2021 Feb;27(2):185-198. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2020.08.001. Epub 2020 Sep 17.


Advances in surgical procedures, technology, and immune suppression have transformed organ transplantation. However, the metabolic changes that occur during organ retrieval, storage, and implantation have been relatively neglected since the developments many decades ago of cold storage organ preservation solutions. In this review we discuss how the metabolic changes that occur within the organ during transplantation, particularly those associated with mitochondria, may contribute to the outcome. We show how a better understanding of these processes can lead to changes in surgical practice and the development of new drug classes to improve the function and longevity of transplanted grafts, while increasing the pool of organs available for transplantation.

Keywords: ischemia–reperfusion injury; metabolism.; mitochondria; transplantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / drug effects*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Organ Preservation / methods
  • Organ Preservation Solutions
  • Organ Transplantation*
  • Reperfusion Injury / etiology
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control


  • Organ Preservation Solutions