Resuscitation of Ischemic Donor Livers with Normothermic Machine Perfusion: A Metabolic Flux Analysis of Treatment in Rats

Maria Louisa Izamis, Herman Tolboom, Basak Uygun, Francois Berthiaume, Martin L. Yarmush, Korkut Uygun

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26 Scopus citations


Normothermic machine perfusion has previously been demonstrated to restore damaged warm ischemic livers to transplantable condition in animal models. However, the mechanisms of recovery are unclear, preventing rational optimization of perfusion systems and slowing clinical translation of machine perfusion. In this study, organ recovery time and major perfusate shortcomings were evaluated using a comprehensive metabolic analysis of organ function in perfusion prior to successful transplantation. Two groups, Fresh livers and livers subjected to 1 hr of warm ischemia (WI) received perfusion for a total preservation time of 6 hrs, followed by successful transplantation. 24 metabolic fluxes were directly measured and 38 stoichiometrically-related fluxes were estimated via a mass balance model of the major pathways of energy metabolism. This analysis revealed stable metabolism in Fresh livers throughout perfusion while identifying two distinct metabolic states in WI livers, separated at t = 2 hrs, coinciding with recovery of oxygen uptake rates to Fresh liver values. This finding strongly suggests successful organ resuscitation within 2 hrs of perfusion. Overall perfused livers regulated metabolism of perfusate substrates according to their metabolic needs, despite supraphysiological levels of some metabolites. This study establishes the first integrative metabolic basis for the dynamics of recovery during perfusion treatment of marginal livers. Our initial findings support enhanced oxygen delivery for both timely recovery and long-term sustenance. These results are expected to lead the optimization of the treatment protocols and perfusion media from a metabolic perspective, facilitating translation to clinical use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere69758
JournalPloS one
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 26 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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