It remains controversial whether renal allografts from donation after circulatory death (DCD) have a higher risk of acute rejection (AR). In the porcine large animal kidney transplant model, we investigated the AR and function of DCD renal allografts compared to the non-DCD renal allografts and the effects of increased immunosuppression. We found that the AR was significantly increased along with elevated MHC-I expression in the DCD transplants receiving low-dose immunosuppression; however, AR and renal function were significantly improved when given high-dose immunosuppressive therapy postoperatively. Also, high-dose immunosuppression remarkably decreased the mRNA levels of ifn-g, il-6, tgf-b, il-4, and tnf-a in the allograft at day 5 and decreased serum cytokines levels of IFN-g and IL-17 at day 4 and day 5 after operation. Furthermore, Western blot analysis showed that higher immunosuppression decreased phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells-p65, increased phosphorylation of extracellular-signal-regulated kinase, and reduced the expression of Bcl-2-associated X protein and caspase-3 in the renal allografts. These results suggest that the DCD renal allograft seems to be more vulnerable to AR; enhanced immunosuppression reduces DCD-associated AR and improves early allograft function in a preclinical large animal model.
- animal models: porcine
- basic (laboratory) research/science
- delayed graft function (DGF)
- donors and donation: donation after circulatory death (DCD)
- kidney transplantation/nephrology
- rejection: acute