Indexed on: 24 Aug '99Published on: 24 Aug '99Published in: Journal of Surgical Research
Activated neutrophils have been implicated as playing an important role in ischemia/reperfusion injury of the liver by releasing toxic mediators such as oxygen free radicals and elastases. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of a novel, specific neutrophil elastase inhibitor (ONO-5046) on cold-ischemia/reperfusion injury of the liver allograft in rodents. Livers from male Lewis rats were procured and stored cold (4 degrees C) in lactated Ringer's solution and transplanted orthotopically. Recipients were divided into three groups: Vehicle group, 5-h preservation and vehicle (n = 8); ONO-5046 group, 5-h preservation and administration of ONO-5046 (n = 8); and Control group, minimum preservation only (n = 8). Bile output after reperfusion was significantly larger in the ONO-5046 group compared to the Vehicle group (P < 0.05 or less). Sinusoidal endothelial cell function represented by the serum hyaluronic acid concentration at 120 min after reperfusion of the ONO-5046 group was significantly lower than that in the Vehicle group (17.0 +/- 7.9 vs 36.2 +/- 14.9 ng/ml, P < 0.05), whereas serum transaminase levels 120 min after reperfusion were comparable between the two groups. Liver tissue energy charge 120 min after reperfusion was significantly better in the ONO-5046 group compared to the Vehicle group (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the number of neutrophils infiltrating the allograft after reperfusion was significantly depressed in the ONO-5046 group compared to the Vehicle group (P < 0. 02). These data suggest that the neutrophil elastase might cause liver damage early after reperfusion in cold-stored liver, which can be ameliorated by the administration of a specific neutrophil elastase inhibitor, ONO-5046.