Pro-IL-1β Is an Early Prognostic Indicator of Severe Donor Lung Injury During Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion

Triin Major Alexandra L Ball John P Stone  Rebecca J Edge Gloria Lopez-Castejon Trygve SjöbergAnders Andreasson David Brough Stig Steen Andrew J Fisher James E Fildes  PMID: 32976365 DOI: 10.1097/TP.0000000000003463 Transplantation . 2021 Apr 1;105(4):768-774. doi:

Ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) is used to evaluate and recondition extended criteria donor lungs for transplantation. Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) has been identified as a prognostic indicator of nonrecovery during EVLP. This may be an effect of inflammasome activation or cellular necrosis following donation and graft preservation. Delineating the mechanism of IL-1β release is required.

The inactive intracellular precursor molecule, pro-IL-1β, was characterized along with the pro-IL-1β processing enzyme, caspase-1, in the perfusate of n = 20 human lungs that had undergone EVLP (n = 10 lungs that failed to recover and were discarded versus n = 10 lungs that reconditioned and were transplanted). In an experimental porcine model, n = 8 lungs underwent EVLP and were randomized to receive either a specific NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitor or control.

Significant increases in pro-IL-1β and caspase-1 were observed in the perfusate from human lungs that did not recondition during EVLP compared with those that successfully reconditioned and were used for transplantation. Within the porcine EVLP, NLRP3 inflammasome inhibition reduced IL-1β within the perfusate compared with controls, but this had no impact on lung function, hemodynamics, or inflammation.

Our data suggest that pro-IL-1β is passively released following cellular necrosis of the donor lung.

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