Previously, we and others showed that dietary restriction protects against renal ischemia-reperfusion injury in animals. However, clinical translation of preoperative diets is scarce, and in the setting of kidney transplantation these data are lacking. In this pilot study, we investigated the effects of five days of a preoperative protein and caloric dietary restriction (PCR) diet in living kidney donors on the perioperative effects in donors, recipients and transplanted kidneys. Thirty-five kidney donors were randomized into either the PCR, 30% calorie and 80% protein reduction, or control group without restrictions. Adherence to the diet and kidney function in donors and their kidney recipients were analyzed. Perioperative kidney biopsies were taken in a selected group of transplanted kidneys for gene expression analysis. All donors adhered to the diet. From postoperative day 2 up until month 1, kidney function of donors was significantly better in the PCR-group. PCR-donor kidney recipients showed significantly improved kidney function and lower incidence of slow graft function and acute rejection. PCR inhibited cellular immune response pathways and activated stress-resistance signaling. These observations are the first to show that preoperative dietary restriction induces postoperative recovery benefits in humans and may be beneficial in clinical settings involving ischemia-reperfusion injury.

Acute rejection, Dietary restriction, Kidney function, Kidney transplantation, Living kidney donation,
Department of Surgery

Jongbloed, F, de Bruin, R.W.F, van Steeg, H, Beekhof, P, Wackers, F.J.T, Hesselink, D.A, … IJzermans, J.N.M. (2020). Protein and calorie restriction may improve outcomes in living kidney donors and kidney transplant recipients. Aging, 12(13), 12441–12467. doi:10.18632/aging.103619