ABSTRACT: Ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) remains unresolved problem in clinical organ transplantation. We analyzed the role of Type-I interferon (IFN) pathway in a clinically relevant murine model of extended hepatic cold preservation followed by orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). Livers from Type-I IFN receptor (IFNAR) knockout (KO) or wild-type (WT) mice (C57/BL6) were harvested, preserved at 4°C in UW solution for 20 h and transplanted to groups of syngeneic IFNAR KO or WT recipients. Liver graft but not recipient IFNAR deficiency was required to consistently ameliorate IRI in OLTs. Indeed, disruption of Type-I IFN signaling decreased serum alanine aminotransferase (sALT) levels (p < 0.001), diminished Suzuki's score of histological OLT damage (p < 0.01) and improved 14-day survival (from 42%[5/12] in WT to 92%[11/12] in IFNAR KO; p < 0.05). Unlike in WT group, IFNAR deficiency attenuated OLT expression of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, MCP-1, CXCL-10, ICAM-1; diminished infiltration by macrophages/PMNs; and enhanced expression of antioxidant HO-1/Nrf2. The frequency of TUNEL+ apoptotic cells and caspase-3 activity/expression selectively decreased in IFNAR KO group. Small interfering (si)RNA-directed targeting of HO-1 restored cardinal features of liver IRI in otherwise resistant IFNAR-deficient OLTs. Thus, intact Type-I IFN signaling is required for hepatic IRI, whereas HO-1 is needed for cytoprotection against innate immunity-dominated organ preservation damage in IFNAR-deficient liver transplants.
American Journal of Transplantation 03/2012; 12(7):1730-9. · 6.39 Impact Factor