Abstract Background Remote Ischemic Conditioning (RIC) has been proposed as a therapeutic intervention to circumvent the ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) that is inherent to organ transplantation. Using a porcine kidney transplant model, we aimed to decipher the subclinical molecular effects of a RIC regime, compared to non-RIC controls. Methods Kidney pairs (n = 8 + 8) were extracted from brain dead donor pigs and transplanted in juvenile recipient pigs following a period of cold ischemia. One of the two kidney recipients in each pair was subjected to RIC prior to kidney graft reperfusion, while the other served as non-RIC control. We designed an integrative Omics strategy combining transcriptomics, proteomics, and phosphoproteomics to deduce molecular signatures in kidney tissue that could be attributed to RIC. Results In kidney grafts taken out 10 h after transplantation we detected minimal molecular perturbations following RIC compared to non-RIC at the transcriptome level, which was mirrored at the proteome level. In particular, we noted that RIC resulted in suppression of tissue inflammatory profiles. Furthermore, an accumulation of muscle extracellular matrix assembly proteins in kidney tissues was detected at the protein level, which may be in response to muscle tissue damage and/or fibrosis. However, the majority of these protein changes did not reach significance (p < 0.05). Conclusions Our data identifies subtle molecular phenotypes in porcine kidneys following RIC, and this knowledge could potentially aid optimization of remote ischemic conditioning protocols in renal transplantation.
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