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BACKGROUND: Mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) therapy may improve renal function after ischemia-reperfusion injury in transplantation. Ex vivo renal intraarterial administration is a targeted delivery method, avoiding the lung vasculature, a known barrier for cellular therapies. In a randomized and blinded study, we tested the feasibility and effectiveness of MSC therapy in a donation after circulatory death autotransplantation model to improve posttransplant kidney function, using an ex vivo MSC delivery method similar to the clinical standard procedure of pretransplant cold graft flush. METHODS: Kidneys exposed to 75 minutes of warm ischemia and 16 hours of static cold storage were intraarterially infused ex vivo with 10 million male porcine MSCs (Tx-MSC, n = 8) or vehicle (Tx-control, n = 8). Afterwards, the kidneys were autotransplanted after contralateral nephrectomy. Biopsies an hour after reperfusion confirmed the presence of MSCs in the renal cortex. Animals were observed for 14 days. RESULTS: Postoperatively, peak plasma creatinine was 1230 and 1274 µmol/L (Tx-controls versus Tx-MSC, P = 0.69). During follow-up, no significant differences over time were detected between groups regarding plasma creatinine, plasma neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, or urine neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin/creatinine ratio. At day 14, measured glomerular filtration rates were 40 and 44 mL/min, P = 0.66. Renal collagen content and fibrosis-related mRNA expression were increased in both groups but without significant differences between the groups. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated intraarterial MSC infusion to transplant kidneys as a safe and effective method to deliver MSCs to the graft. However, we could not detect any positive effects of this cell treatment within 14 days of observation.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





517 - 528


Animals, Disease Models, Animal, Female, Glomerular Filtration Rate, Kidney Transplantation, Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation, Mesenchymal Stem Cells, Organ Preservation, Reperfusion Injury, Swine