Hyperoxia fully protects mitochondria of explanted livers

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Abstract

Liver ischemia-reperfusion injury is still an open problem in many clinical circumstances, including surgery and transplantation. This study investigates how mitochondrial structure, mass and oxidative phosphorylation change and may be preserved during a brief period of ischemia followed by a long period of reperfusion, an experimental model that mimics the condition to which a liver is exposed during transplantation. Livers were explanted from rats and exposed for 24 h to three different oxygen availability conditions at 4 °C. Mitochondrial mass, respiration, oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), and levels of OXPHOS complexes were all significantly altered in livers stored under the currently used preservation condition of normoxia. Remarkably, liver perfusion with hyperoxic solutions fully preserved mitochondrial morphology and function, suggesting that perfusion of the graft with hyperoxic solution should be considered in human transplantation.

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