Effects of brain death on stress and inflammatory response in the human donor kidney.
Nijboer WN., Schuurs TA., van der Hoeven JA., Leuvenink HG., van der Heide JJ., van Goor H., Ploeg RJ.
BACKGROUND: After kidney transplantation, a decreased graft survival is seen in grafts from brain dead donors compared to living donors, possibly related to a progressive inflammatory reaction in the graft. In this study, we focused on the effects of brain death on the inflammatory response (adhesion molecules, leukocyte infiltration, and gene expression) and stress-related heat shock proteins in the human kidney. Research outcomes and clinical donor parameters were linked to outcome data after transplantation. METHODS: Human kidney biopsy specimens were obtained during organ retrieval from brain dead and living organ donor controls. On these specimens, immunohistochemistry and semiquantitative RT-PCR were performed. Regression analyses were performed connecting results to outcome data of kidney recipients. RESULTS: In brain death, immunohistochemistry showed an increase of E-selectin and interstitial leukocyte invasion versus controls; RT-PCR showed an increase of gene expression of HO-1 and Hsp70. One and 3 years after transplantation, high ICAM and VCAM expression proved to have a negative effect on kidney function in brain dead and living kidneys, while HO-1 proved to have a strongly positive effect, but only in kidneys from living donors. CONCLUSIONS: E-selectin expression and interstitial leukocyte accumulation in brain dead donor kidneys indicate an early phase inflammatory state prior to organ retrieval. Also, brain death causes a stress-related response resulting in upregulation of potentially protective heat shock proteins. The upregulation of HO-1 is beneficial in living donor kidneys, but might be inadequate in brain death.