Preservation of rat hearts in subfreezing temperature isochoric conditions to - 8C and 78MPa. Academic Article uri icon


  • Isochoric (constant volume) preservation at subfreezing temperatures is being investigated as a novel method for preserving cells and organs. This study is a first initial effort to evaluate the efficacy of this method for heart preservation, and to provide a preliminary outline of appropriate preservation parameters. To establish a baseline for further studies, rat hearts were preserved in a University of Wisconsin (UW) intracellular solution for one hour under isochoric conditions at: 0C (atmospheric pressure - 0.1MPa), - 4C (41MPa), - 6C (60MPa) and - 8C (78MPa). The viability of the heart was evaluated using Langendorff perfusion and histological examination. The physiological performance of hearts preserved at - 4C (41MPa) was comparable to that of a heart preserved on ice at atmospheric pressure, with no statistically significant difference in histological injury score. However, hearts preserved at-4C displayed substantially reduced interstitial edema compared to hearts preserved by conventional hypothermic preservation in UW on ice at atmospheric pressure, suggesting significant protection from increased vascular permeability following preservation. Hearts preserved at - 6C (60MPa) suffered injury from cellular swelling and extensive edema, and at - 8C (78MPa) hearts experienced significant morphological disruption. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first publication showing that a mammalian organ can survive low subfreezing temperatures without the use of a cryoprotective additive. Lowering the preservation temperature reduces metabolism and improves preservation quality, and these results suggest that improvements in preservation are possible at subzero temperatures with low to moderate pressures observed at-4C. Notably, tissue damage was observed at lower temperatures (-6C or below) accompanying further elevation of pressure associated with isochoric preservation that may prove detrimental. Therefore, subfreezing temperature isochoric preservation protocols should optimize, a combination of temperature and pressure that will minimize the negative effects of elevated pressure while retaining the beneficial effect of lower temperatures and reduced metabolism.

published proceedings

  • Biochem Biophys Res Commun

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Wan, L., Powell-Palm, M. J., Lee, C., Gupta, A., Weegman, B. P., Clemens, M. G., & Rubinsky, B.

citation count

  • 33

complete list of authors

  • Wan, Lili||Powell-Palm, Matthew J||Lee, Charles||Gupta, Anshal||Weegman, Bradley P||Clemens, Mark G||Rubinsky, Boris

publication date

  • February 2018