Ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) is inevitable during transplantation. Attempts to reduce IRI have mainly focused on ways to improve hypothermic organ preservation and reduce the nephrotoxic effects of calcineurin inhibitors. Recently, it has been shown that short, repeated sequences of intermittent ischemia and reperfusion after a prolonged ischemic episode, so-called ischemic postconditioning (IPoC), reduce myocardial infarct size by approximately 40% in animal models and in humans. The principle of IPoC could be applied to every organ after ischemic injury, including kidney transplants. In fact, IPoC has demonstrated its clinical potential by reducing IRI in different organs in several animal models. In this review, we provide an overview of animal experiments on renal IRI and IPoC, demonstrating benefits with respect to organ damage and kidney function. We propose potential mechanisms by which IPoC protects against IRI. However, thus far, no human trials investigating IPoC in transplantation have been performed. Such clinical studies are needed to establish whether a simple procedure such as IPoC can improve the outcomes of human organ transplantation. Copyright

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van den Akker, E.K, Manintveld, O.C, Hesselink, D.A, de Bruin, R.W.F, IJzermans, J.N.M, & Dor, F.J.M.F. (2013). Protection against renal ischemia-reperfusion injury by ischemic postconditioning. Transplantation (Vol. 95, pp. 1299–1305). doi:10.1097/TP.0b013e318281b934