Background: Sphingosine-1-phosphate regulates endothelial barrier integrity and promotes cell survival and proliferation. We hypothesized that upregulation of sphingosine-1-phosphate during ex vivo lung perfusion would attenuate acute lung injury and improve graft function. Methods: C57BL/6 mice (n = 4-8/group) were euthanized, followed by 1 hour of warm ischemia and 1 hour of cold preservation in a model of donation after cardiac death. Subsequently, mice underwent 1 hour of ex vivo lung perfusion with 1 of 4 different perfusion solutions: Steen solution (Steen, control arm), Steen with added sphingosine-1-phosphate (Steen + sphingosine-1-phosphate), Steen plus a selective sphingosine kinase 2 inhibitor (Steen + sphingosine kinase inhibitor), or Steen plus both additives (Steen + sphingosine-1-phosphate + sphingosine kinase inhibitor). During ex vivo lung perfusion, lung compliance and pulmonary artery pressure were continuously measured. Pulmonary vascular permeability was assessed with injection of Evans Blue dye. Results: The combination of 1 hour of warm ischemia, followed by 1 hour of cold ischemia created significant lung injury compared with lungs that were immediately harvested after circulatory death and put on ex vivo lung perfusion. Addition of sphingosine-1-phosphate or sphingosine kinase inhibitor alone did not significantly improve lung function during ex vivo lung perfusion compared with Steen without additives. However, group Steen + sphingosine-1-phosphate + sphingosine kinase inhibitor resulted in significantly increased compliance (110% ± 13.9% vs 57.7% ± 6.6%, P <.0001) and decreased pulmonary vascular permeability (33.1 ± 11.9 μg/g vs 75.8 ± 11.4 μg/g tissue, P =.04) compared with Steen alone. Conclusions: Targeted drug therapy with a combination of sphingosine-1-phosphate + sphingosine kinase inhibitor during ex vivo lung perfusion improves lung function in a murine donation after cardiac death model. Elevation of circulating sphingosine-1-phosphate via specific pharmacologic modalities during ex vivo lung perfusion may provide endothelial protection in marginal donor lungs leading to successful lung rehabilitation for transplantation.
- ex vivo lung perfusion
- ischemia–reperfusion injury
- lung rehabilitation
- lung transplantation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine