Mesenchymal stromal cell treatment of donor kidneys during ex vivo normothermic machine perfusion: A porcine renal autotransplantation study

Am J Transplant. 2021 Jul;21(7):2348-2359. doi: 10.1111/ajt.16473. Epub 2021 Mar 8.


Normothermic machine perfusion (NMP) of injured kidneys offers the opportunity for interventions to metabolically active organs prior to transplantation. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) can exert regenerative and anti-inflammatory effects in ischemia-reperfusion injury. The aims of this study were to evaluate the safety and feasibility of MSC treatment of kidneys during NMP using a porcine autotransplantation model, and examine potential MSC treatment-associated kidney improvements up to 14 days posttransplant. After 75 min of kidney warm ischemia, four experimental groups of n = 7 underwent 14 h of oxygenated hypothermic machine perfusion. In three groups this was followed by 240 min of NMP with infusion of vehicle, 10 million porcine, or 10 million human adipose-derived MSCs. All kidneys were autotransplanted after contralateral nephrectomy. MSC treatment did not affect perfusion hemodynamics during NMP or cause adverse effects at reperfusion, with 100% animal survival. MSCs did not affect plasma creatinine, glomerular filtration rate, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin concentrations or kidney damage assessed by histology during the 14 days, and MSCs retention was demonstrated in renal cortex. Infusing MSCs during ex vivo NMP of porcine kidneys was safe and feasible. Within the short posttransplant follow-up period, no beneficial effects of ex vivo MSC therapy could be demonstrated.

Keywords: basic (laboratory) research/science; donors and donation: donation after circulatory death (DCD); ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI); kidney transplantation/nephrology; organ perfusion and preservation; organ procurement and allocation; regenerative medicine; stem cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells*
  • Organ Preservation*
  • Perfusion
  • Swine
  • Transplantation, Autologous