Donor Brain Death Exacerbates Complement-Dependent Ischemia Reperfusion Injury in Transplanted Hearts
Background—Brain death (BD) can immunologically prime the donor organ and is thought to lead to exacerbated ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) post-transplantation. Using a newly developed mouse model of BD, we investigated the effect of donor BD on post transplant cardiac IRI. We further investigated the therapeutic effect of a targeted complement inhibitor in recipients of BD donor hearts, and addressed the clinical relevance of these studies by analysis of human heart biopsies from BD and domino (living) donors.
Methods and Results—Hearts from living or brain dead donor C57BL/6 mice were transplanted into C57BL/6 or BALB/c recipients. Recipient mice were treated with the complement inhibitor CR2-Crry or vehicle control (n=6). Isografts were analyzed 48 hours post-transplant for injury, inflammation and complement deposition, and allografts monitored for graft survival. Human cardiac biopsies were analyzed for complement deposition and inflammatory cell infiltration. In the murine model, donor BD exacerbated IRI and graft rejection as demonstrated by increased myocardial injury, serum cardiac troponin, cellular infiltration, inflammatory chemokine and cytokine levels, complement deposition, and decreased graft survival. CR2-Crry treatment of recipients significantly reduced all measured outcomes in grafts from both BD and living donors compared to controls. Analysis of human samples documented the relevance of our experimental findings and revealed exacerbated complement deposition and inflammation in grafts from BD donors compared to grafts from living donors.
Conclusions—BD exacerbates post-transplant cardiac IRI in mice and humans, and decreases survival of mouse allografts. Further, targeted complement inhibition in recipient mice ameliorates BD-exacerbated IRI.
- Received January 2, 2013.
- Accepted February 8, 2013.
- Copyright © 2013, Circulation