Systemic immunosuppression for the mitigation of immune rejection after organ transplantation causes adverse side effects and constrains the long-term benefits of the transplanted graft. Here we show that protecting the endothelial glycocalyx in vascular allografts via the enzymatic ligation of immunosuppressive glycopolymers under cold-storage conditions attenuates the acute and chronic rejection of the grafts after transplantation in the absence of systemic immunosuppression. In syngeneic and allogeneic mice that received kidney transplants, the steric and immunosuppressive properties of the ligated polymers largely protected the transplanted grafts from ischaemic reperfusion injury, and from immune-cell adhesion and thereby immunocytotoxicity. Polymer-mediated shielding of the endothelial glycocalyx following organ procurement should be compatible with clinical procedures for transplant preservation and perfusion, and may reduce the damage and rejection of transplanted organs after surgery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biomedical Engineering
- Computer Science Applications