Pancreatic static cold storage is the gold-standard method for pancreas preservation. Our main objective was to evaluate feasibility of hypothermic perfusion (HP) of non-human primates pancreases for potential organ transplantation.
Seven baboon pancreases were tested. Animals were included in a study approved by the French Research Ministry of Health. Two groups were compared: the control group (n=2) was preserved using conventional static cold storage (SCS) for 24-h and the perfusion group (n=5) used HP for 24-h, with 3 different perfusion pressures (PP): 15 (n=3), 20 (n=1) and 25 mmHg (n=1).
In the control group, focal congestion of islets was observed after 6-h. At 24-h, ischemic necrosis and multifocal congestion also occurred. In the HP group, at 15 mmHg PP, multifocal congestion of islets was present at 24-h. At 20 mmHg PP, no ischemic necrosis was found after 6-h. At 12-h and 24-h, focal congestion of islets was seen. At 25 mmHg PP, focal congestion of islets appeared after 12-h. Immunostaining for insulin, glucagon and somatostatin was normal and similar in controls and perfused pancreas transplants even after 24-h. Apoptosis index represented by cleaved caspase 3 activity, was less than 1% in perfusion and control groups, even after 24-h.
HP of non-human primate pancreas is feasible and not deleterious as far as 24-h compared to SCS. SCS for more than 12-h was harmful for the transplants. Systolic perfusion pressure between 15-20 mmHg did not cause any pathological injury of the tested organs.

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