Organ shortage continues to limit the lives of patients who require liver transplantation. While extending criteria for liver organs provides a needed resource, tissue damage from prolonged ischemic injury can result in early allograft dysfunction and consequent rejection. In this issue of the JCI, Nakamura et al. used a mouse transplantation model with prolonged ex vivo cold storage to explore liver graft protection. The authors found that liver grafts with absent carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1 (CEACAM1) exhibited increased ischemia-reperfusion injury inflammation and decreased function in wild-type recipients. The authors went on to correlate CEACAM1 levels with postreperfusion damage in human liver transplant recipients. Notably, this study identified a potential biomarker for liver transplant donor graft quality.
Samer Tohme, David A. Geller