The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation vol:25 issue:7 pages:839-46
BACKGROUND: The use of non-heart-beating donors (NHBDs) for lung transplantation is a possible alternative for increasing the number of organs available. The warm ischemic period after circulatory arrest may contribute to a higher degree of primary graft dysfunction, resulting from ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). A better understanding of the role of inflammatory cells during the warm ischemic interval may be useful for developing new therapeutic strategies against IRI. METHODS: Mice were divided in 7 groups (n = 6/group). In 3 groups, ischemia was induced by clamping the hilum of the left lung for 30, 60 or 90 minutes (Groups [30I], [60I] or [90I], respectively). In 3 more groups, the lung was reperfused for 4 hours after identical ischemic intervals (Groups [30I+R], [60I+R] or [90I+R], respectively). Surgical impact was evaluated in a sham group ([sham]). Total and differential cell counts and interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) protein levels in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) were determined and their correlations were investigated. RESULTS: Total cell, macrophage and lymphocyte numbers and IL-1beta protein levels increased progressively with longer ischemic intervals. A significant rise in BAL macrophages and lymphocytes was observed between [60I] and [90I] (p < 0.01 and p < 0.001, respectively). BAL neutrophils only increased after reperfusion with longer ischemic intervals. A positive correlation was found in the ischemic groups between IL-1beta levels and the number of macrophages (r = 0.62; p = 0.0012) and the number of lymphocytes (r = 0.68; p = 0.0002). A positive correlation was found in the reperfusion groups between IL-1beta levels and the number of neutrophils (r = 0.48; p = 0.044). CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates for the first time that BAL macrophages and lymphocytes increase significantly during warm ischemia and correlate with IL-1beta levels.