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Preservation strategies to reduce ischemic injury in kidney transplantation: pharmacological and genetic approaches

Chatauret, Nicolasa,b,e; Thuillier, Raphaela,b,c,e; Hauet, Thierrya,b,c,d,e

Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation: April 2011 - Volume 16 - Issue 2 - p 180–187
doi: 10.1097/MOT.0b013e3283446b1d
Organ preservation and procurement: Edited by Ernest van Heurn

Purpose of review In the current graft shortage, it is paramount to improve the quality of transplanted organs. Organ preservation represents an underused therapeutic window with great potential to reduce ischaemia–reperfusion injury (IRI) and improve graft quality. Herein, we review strategies using this window as well as other promising work targeting IRI pathways using pharmacological treatments and gene therapy.

Recent findings We highlight studies using molecules administered during kidney preservation to target key components of IRI such as inflammation, oxidative stress, mitochondrial activity and the coagulation pathway. We further expose recent studies of gene therapy directed against inflammation or apoptosis during cold storage. Other pathways with potential therapeutic molecules are cited.

Summary The use of cold preservation as a therapeutic window to deliver pharmacological or gene therapy treatments can significantly improve both short-term and long-term graft outcomes. Even if human gene therapy remains hampered by the quantity of agent needed and the potential harmfulness of the vector, it clearly offers a wide array of possibilities for the future. Although gene therapy is still too immature, we expose pharmacological strategies which can readily be applied to the clinic and improve both transplantation success rates and the patients' quality of life.

aInserm, U927, Rue de la Milétrie, France

bUniversité de Poitiers, France

cCHU de Poitiers, rue de la Milétrie, Poitiers, France

dPlate-forme IBiSA, GEPA, INRA, Domaine du Magneraud, Surgères, France

eFLIRT: Fédération pour L'étude de l'Ischémie Reperfusion en Transplantation, Poitiers, France

Correspondence to Professor Thierry Hauet, Inserm U927, 2 rue de la Milétrie, BP577, 86021 Poitiers Cedex, France Tel: +33 549444781; fax: +33 549444922; e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.