Background Coronary artery bypass surgery provides excellent patency rates; however, the early and/or late graft failure reduces the long-term benefit of myocardial revascularization. We investigated the effectiveness of generally used saline, Custodiol solutions and a new solution (TiProtec) at preserving endothelium after cold ischemia and warm reperfusion injury. Materials and methods Aortic transplantations were performed in Lewis rats. Aortic arches were stored in saline, Custodiol, and TiProtec solutions for 2 h then were transplanted into the abdominal aorta. Two, 24 hours and 1 week after transplantation, the implanted grafts were harvested. Endothelium-dependent and -independent vasorelaxations were investigated in organ bath. DNA strand breaks were assessed by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling-method, messenger RNA expressions by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and the expression of CD-31 and alpha smooth muscle actin by immunochemistry. Results Severely impaired endothelial function and integrity of implanted aortic grafts were shown after 2 h in the saline, Custodiol group (maximal vasorelaxation to acetylcholine: control: 91 ± 2%, saline: 26 ± 5%, Custodiol: 24 ± 5%, CD-31-positive area control: 96 ± 2%, saline: 35 ± 13% Custodiol: 54 ± 5%, P < 0.05, respectively); however, a preserved endothelial function was observed in the TiProtec group when compared with the saline and Custodiol group (maximal vasorelaxation: 46 ± 7%, CD-31-positive area: 54 ± 10%, P < 0.05). After 1 wk, endothelial function was partially recovered in all groups; however, it was significantly better in the TiProtec group (maximal vasorelaxation to acetylcholine: saline: 42 ± 3%, Custodiol: 48 ± 3%, TiProtec: 56 ± 3%, CD-31-positive area: saline: 56 ± 5%, Custodiol: 54 ± 4%; TiProtec: 83 ± 6%, P < 0.05, respectively). In addition, messenger RNA levels of Bax, B-cell lymphoma-2, endothelial NOS, vascular endothelial growth factor 2, and caspase-3 were significantly altered in both groups. Conclusions TiProtec appears to be superior for the preservation of endothelial- and smooth muscle cells of bypass graft after cold storage and warm reperfusion in our murine model.
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