- Dr Wei-Ping Min, Principal Investigator
- Dr Hao Wang, Collaborator
- Prof. Garcia Bertha, Collaborator
- Prof. David White, Collaborator
- University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
- Protection of Donor Organs in Transplantation
Currently, people who receive organ transplants must take drugs for the rest of their lives to prevent their own immune system from rejecting the transplanted organ. Despite these potent anti-rejection drugs, almost all transplanted organs ultimately fail due to slow progressive rejection. This ‘chronic rejection’ largely stems from the transplanted organs becoming partially damaged during the preservation and transportation stage or during the transplant surgery itself. To date, we have no way to prevent chronic rejection in patients.
We know that certain molecules are associated with organ damage. In this project, we will use a newly developed gene-blocking method to reduce the genes that precipitate organ damage. We will then look at how blocking these genes can increase kidney storage time prior to transplantation as well as decrease injury to the organ, and how this, in turn, prevents chronic rejection.
This project aims to develop an organ storage solution that contains new gene inhibition components, called small interfering RNA (siRNA). We believe that siRNA can suppress those genes responsible for organ damage. Kidneys will be stored in this new solution before transplantation in order to prolong organ preservation time, to reduce organ injury during storage and transplantation, and to prevent immune rejection after transplantation.
If successful, this new organ storage solution will offer better protection for transplant organs both before and during transplant surgery. By reducing organ injury, this storage solution will prevent chronic rejection and ultimately improve long-term kidney transplant survival.