8-pCPT-cGMP prevents mitochondrial depolarization and improves the outcome of steatotic partial liver transplantation

Qinlong Liu, Hasibur Rehman, Yasodha Krishnasamy, John J. Lemasters, Zhi Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Permeant cGMP analogs prevent the mitochondria permeability transition (MPT) in vitro. In this study, we explored whether 8-pCPT-cGMP prevents the MPT and decreases post-transplant damage to fatty partial liver grafts (FPG) in vivo. Rats were fed a control or high-fat, high-fructose diet for 2-week. Lean and fatty liver explants were reduced in size ex vivo to ~35% and stored in the University of Wisconsin solution with and without 8-pCPTcGMP (300 μM) for 2 h. After transplantation, alanine aminotransferase release (indicator of hepatocellular injury), hyperbilirubinemia (indicator of poor liver function), and cell death were all higher in FPG than in lean partial grafts (LPG). Liver regeneration increased in LPG but was suppressed in FPG. 8-pCPT-cGMP blunted graft injury, improved liver regeneration and function, and increased survival of FPG. Hepatic mitochondrial depolarization detected by intravital multiphoton microscopy of rhodamine 123 in living rats was ~3.5-fold higher in FPG than in LPG. 8-pCPTcGMP decreased mitochondrial depolarization in FPG almost to the level of LPG. Activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), an energy sensitive kinase that stimulates cell proliferation and growth, and p70S6 kinase, a downstream signaling molecule of mTOR, was increased in LPG but suppressed in FPG. 8-pCPT-cGMP restored the activity of mTOR and p70S6 kinase in FPG. 8-pCPT-cGMP also increased activation of cAMP response elementbinding protein (CREB) and expression of cyclins D1 and E in FPG. Non-alcoholic steatosis increases injury and suppresses regeneration after partial liver transplantation, at least in part, due to more severe mitochondrial dysfunction. Protection of mitochondria with a cGMP analog effectively improves outcomes of FPG transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-83
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Physiology, Pathophysiology and Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cyclic GMP
  • Fatty liver
  • Liver regeneration
  • Mitochondrial permeability transition
  • Partial liver graft
  • Steatosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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