Bosentan, an endothelin antagonist, augments hepatic graft function by reducing graft circulatory impairment following ischemia/reperfusion injury.
Endothelin is a potent hepatic vasoconstrictor. We evaluated the role of an endothelin antagonist in hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury. Bosentan, a novel endothelin receptor antagonist, was infused directly into the portal vein prior to cold ischemia and immediately on reperfusion, in five porcine livers. Five other pigs underwent routine liver harvest and reperfusion without bosentan treatment. Hepatic vascular resistance and liver tissue blood flow, as measured by thermistor flow probes, were determined following reperfusion. Hepatocellular damage was assessed through hepatic venous levels of sorbitol dehydrogenase and lactate dehydrogenase. Endothelial cell damage was determined in sections immuno-stained for factor VIII. Graft function was determined through oxygen consumption, bile production, and response to bile acid challenge. Organs treated with bosentan demonstrated lower vascular resistance and enhanced tissue blood flow (P < 0.05) as compared to untreated organs. Portal vein inflow to hepatic tissue was significantly enhanced (4.4-fold) in the bosentan-treated organs (P < 0.05). No difference was observed in hepatocellular damage. Pathology scores for factor VIII immunohistochemical staining were 2.3-fold higher in the bosentan-treated livers as compared to untreated livers (P < 0.05). The bosentan-treated livers also demonstrated enhanced oxygen consumption, increased bile production, and augmented biliary response to a bile acid challenge (P < 0.05). These results indicate that administration of bosentan before and after ischemia/reperfusion reduces hepatic circulatory disturbances, diminishes endothelial cell damage, and augments hepatic graft function.
Ricciardi, R; Schaffer, BK; Shah, SA; Quarfordt, SH; Banner, BF; Wheeler, SM; Donohue, SE; Meyers, WC; Chari, RS
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