ARTICLE: Untargeted metabolomics of perfusate and their association with hypothermic machine perfusion and allograft failure
JOURNAL: Kidney Int. 2022 Dec 20;S0085-2538(22)01038-9. doi: 10.1016/j.kint.2022.11.020. Online ahead of print.
Although hypothermic machine perfusion (HMP) is associated with improved kidney graft viability and function, the underlying biological mechanisms are unknown. Untargeted metabolomic profiling may identify potential metabolites and pathways that can help assess allograft viability and contribute to organ preservation. Therefore, in this multicenter study, we measured all detectable metabolites in perfusate collected at the beginning and end of deceased-donor kidney perfusion and evaluated their associations with graft failure. In our cohort of 190 kidney transplants, 33 (17%) had death-censored graft failure over a median follow-up of 5.0 years (IQR 3.0-6.1 years). We identified 553 known metabolites in perfusate and characterized their experimental and biological consistency through duplicate samples and unsupervised clustering. After perfusion-time adjustment and false discovery correction, six metabolites in post-HMP perfusate were significantly associated with death-censored graft failure, including alpha-ketoglutarate, 3-carboxy-4-methyl-5-propyl-2-furanpropanoate, 1-carboxyethylphenylalanine, and three glycerol-phosphatidylcholines. All six metabolites were associated with an increased risk of graft failure (Hazard Ratio per median absolute deviation range 1.04-1.45). Four of six metabolites also demonstrated significant interaction with donation after cardiac death with notably greater risk in the donation after cardiac death group (Hazard Ratios up to 1.69). Discarded kidneys did not have significantly different levels of any death-censored graft failure-associated metabolites. On interrogation of pathway analysis, production of reactive oxygen species and increased metabolism of fatty acids were upregulated in kidneys that subsequently developed death-censored graft failure. Thus, further understanding the role of these metabolites may inform the HMP process and help improve the objective evaluation of allograft offers, thereby reducing the discard of potentially viable organs.
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