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New Insights into the Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Cold Storage Injury
  1. Ursula Rauen,
  2. Herbert de Groot
  1. From the Institut für Physiologische Chemie (U.R., H.d.G.), Universitätsklinikum, Essen, Germany.
  2. This article was presented in part at the FASEB meeting, “Experimental Biology 2004,” Washington, DC, April 17-21, 2004.
  3. Address correspondence to: Dr. Ursula Rauen, Institut für Physiologische Chemie, Universitätsklinikum, Hufelandstr. 55, D-45122 Essen, Germany; e-mail: ursula.rauen{at}


Solid organ grafts, but also other biologic materials requiring storage for a few hours to a few days, are usually stored under hypothermic conditions. To decrease graft injury during cold storage, organ preservation solutions were developed many years ago. However, since then, modern biochemical and cell biologic methods have allowed further insights into the molecular and cellular mechanisms of cold storage injury, including further insights into alterations of the cellular ion homeostasis, the occurrence of a mitochondrial permeability transition, and the occurrence of free-radical-mediated hypothermic injury and cold-induced apoptosis. These new aspects of cold storage injury, which are not covered by preservation solutions in current clinical use and offer the potential for improvement of organ and tissue preservation, are presented here.

Key Words
  • cold ischemia
  • hypothermia
  • organ preservation

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