A green tea extract could help alleviate shortage of livers available for transplant

nebriating dose of alcohol was given to rats by gavage to mimic binge drinking. Livers were explanted 20 hours later, stored in University of Wisconsin cold storage solution for 24 hours and rinsed with lactated Ringers solution containing green tea extract prior to implantation. Free radicals in bile were trapped with a-(4-pyridyl 1-oxide)-N-tert-butylnitrone (4-POBN) and measured using an electron spin resonance spectrometer. 4-Hydroxynenonal, an end-product of lipid peroxidation, was detected immunohistochemically. Transaminase release, liver pathology, and graft survival after transplantation were observed.

Transaminase or enzyme release after liver transplantation was 4-fold higher in rats that received fatty grafts than in rats with healthy control grafts.

Ethanol also caused severe focal necrosis in the liver and decreased survival rates from 88 percent to 13 percent.

Green tea extract largely blunted graft injury and increased survival of fatty livers to 75 percent.

Ethanol administered to donor rats increased POBN/radical adducts 2.5-fold and caused accumulation of 4-hydroxynenonal, a product of lipid peroxidation, after transplantation. These effects were largely blocked by green tea extract or epigallocatechin gallate, a major polyphenolic component of green tea extract.

The study confirms the association of increased free radical formation and graft failure after transplantation of fatty livers from ethanol-treated donors. Further, the work documents that scavenging of free radicals in fatty livers by green tea extract prevents such liver graft damage and failure. Green tea polyphenols could thus be an effective therapy to prevent failure of fatty grafts after clinical liver transplantation and lead to the inclusion of previously rejected livers into the pool of organs available for transplantation.


Contact: Donna Krupa
American Physiological Society

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