Supercooling preservation techniques store a donor organ below 0°C without freezing. This has great advantages in inhibiting metabolism and preserving the organ in comparison to conventional preservation at 4°C. We developed a novel supercooling technique using a liquid cooling apparatus and novel preservation and perfusion solutions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the preservation effect of our supercooling preservation technique in a mouse heart transplantation model.
Syngeneic heterotopic heart transplantation was performed in 3 groups of mice: (1) the nonpreservation group, in which the cardiac grafts were transplanted immediately after retrieval; (2) the conventional University of Wisconsin (UW) group, in which the cardiac grafts were stored in UW solution at 4°C for different periods of time; and (3) the supercooling group, in which the cardiac grafts were stored in a novel supercooling preservation solution at –8°C for different periods of time. The maximal preservation time was investigated. Twenty-four-hour sample data were collected and analyzed to compare supercooling preservation to conventional UW preservation.
Our technique yielded a stable –8°C supercooling state. Cardiac graft revival was successfully achieved after supercooling preservation for 144 hours, and long-term survival was observed after supercooling preservation for 96 hours. Posttransplant outcomes, including myocardial ischemia–reperfusion injury, oxidative stress-related damage, and myocardial cell apoptosis, were improved in comparison to conventional 4°C UW preservation.
Supercooling heart preservation at –8°C greatly prolonged the preservation time and improved the posttransplant outcomes in comparison to conventional 4°C UW preservation. Supercooling preservation is a promising technique for organ preservation.