The administration of argon during ex vivo normothermic perfusion in an experimental model of kidney ischemia–reperfusion injury

Stephanie F. Smith, Thomas Adams, Sarah A. Hosgood, Michael L. Nicholson

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Background: Argon has shown potential as an organoprotective agent in numerous models of ischemia–reperfusion injury (IRI). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of argon gas during ex vivo normothermic perfusion (EVNP) in an experimental porcine model of kidney IRI.

Materials and methods: After a warm ischemia time of 15 min and 17 h of static cold storage, porcine kidneys underwent 1 h of EVNP using leukocyte-depleted blood. During EVNP, kidneys were perfused with a gas composition either of 70% argon (n = 6), 70% nitrogen control (n = 6), or standard 95% oxygen (n = 6) balanced with 5% carbon dioxide. After EVNP, kidneys were reperfused with whole blood under standard conditions for 3 h to assess renal function and injury.

Results: During 1-h EVNP, the mean renal blood flow was numerically higher in the argon group (49.2 ± 16.2 mL/min/100 g; P = 0.320) compared with the nitrogen and oxygen groups (42.9 ± 18.64 and 37.71 ± 7.0 mL/min/100 g, respectively). Other measures of renal function and hemodynamics were not significantly different between the argon and control groups during this period. During reperfusion, no significant differences were found in functional parameters or inflammatory markers (P < 0.05). Histologic analysis revealed no significant change in morphology or hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha staining between gaseous groups. Nuclear hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha staining was observed only after 3 h of reperfusion.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that using 70% argon during 1 h of EVNP does not mediate a measurable organoprotective effect in an experimental porcine model of IRI.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-208
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Early online date19 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Argon
  • EVNP
  • HIF-1α
  • Ischemia–reperfusion injury
  • Kidney

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