Results of an explorative clinical evaluation suggest immediate and persistent post-reperfusion metabolic paralysis drives kidney ischemia reperfusion injury

Jan H. Lindeman*, Leonie G. Wijermars, Sarantos Kostidis, Oleg A. Mayboroda, Amy C. Harms, Thomas Hankemeier, Jorgen Bierau, Karthick B. Sai Sankar Gupta, Martin Giera, Marlies E. Reinders, Melissa C. Zuiderwijk, Sylvia E. Le Devedec, Alexander F. Schaapherder, Jaap A. Bakker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Delayed graft function is the manifestation of ischemia reperfusion injury in the context of kidney transplantation. While hundreds of interventions successfully reduce ischemia reperfusion injury in experimental models, all clinical interventions have failed. This explorative clinical evaluation examined possible metabolic origins of clinical ischemia reperfusion injury combining data from 18 pre- and post-reperfusion tissue biopsies with 36 sequential arteriovenous blood samplings over the graft in three study groups. These groups included living and deceased donor grafts with and without delayed graft function. Group allocation was based on clinical outcome. Magic angle NMR was used for tissue analysis and mass spectrometry-based platforms were used for plasma analysis. All kidneys were functional at one-year. Integration of metabolomic data identified a discriminatory profile to recognize future delayed graft function. This profile was characterized by post-reperfusion ATP/GTP catabolism (significantly impaired phosphocreatine recovery and significant persistent (hypo)xanthine production) and significant ongoing tissue damage. Failing high-energy phosphate recovery occurred despite activated glycolysis, fatty-acid oxidation, glutaminolysis and autophagia, and related to a defect at the level of the oxoglutarate dehydrogenase complex in the Krebs cycle. Clinical delayed graft function due to ischemia reperfusion injury associated with a post-reperfusion metabolic collapse. Thus, efforts to quench delayed graft function due to ischemia reperfusion injury should focus on conserving metabolic competence, either by preserving the integrity of the Krebs cycle and/or by recruiting metabolic salvage pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1476-1488
Number of pages13
JournalKidney International
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • ATP
  • delayed graft function
  • glycolysis
  • ischemia reperfusion injury
  • metabolism
  • oxidative phosphorylation

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