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Effect of Inspired Oxygen on Portal and Hepatic Oxygenation: Effective Arterialization of Portal Blood by Hyperoxia

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Because hypoxia may compromise the survival of intraportally transplanted pancreatic islets, we have measured portal blood flow and both portal and hepatic oxygenation in normal and diabetic rats breathing graded inspired oxygen concentrations. Portal blood flow and hepatic tissue oxygenation were measured using a transonic flowmeter and near infrared spectroscopy while gas analysis was carried out on portal venous blood samples. The effects of breathing 13%, 21%, 50%, or 100% oxygen were compared in animals with steptozotocin-induced diabetes and in controls. In diabetic rats breathing 21% oxygen, portal blood flow was significantly lower than in controls (7.2 ± 0.7 vs. 9.1 ± 0.8 ml/min, p < 0.05). In both groups, breathing 100% oxygen significantly increased portal flow (to 8.4 ± 1.0 and 12.2 ± 0.7 ml/min, respectively). This effect was not secondary to hepatic arterial vasoconstriction because it was not prevented by hepatic artery ligation. In controls, breathing 100% oxygen increased portal pO2 from 5.0 ± 0.9 to 14.4 ± 1.4 kPa (p < 0.05) and portal venous oxygen saturation (PSaO2) from 53.9 ± 12.1% to 92.9 ± 1.4% (p < 0.05), a value not significantly different from peripheral (arterial) saturation. Similarly, in diabetic animals pO2 rose from 5.6 ± 0.3 to 11.7 ± 0.4 kPa (p < 0.01) and SO2 from 55.5 ± 5.2% to 88.5 ± 0.6% (p < 0.05). Hepatic oxyhemoglobin rose and deoxyhemoglobin fell reciprocally as a function of the inspired oxygen concentration. Improved hepatic oxygenation observed in animals breathing oxygen-enriched gas mixtures results from an increase in splanchnic blood flow coupled with a marked increase in portal oxygen saturation. This effective arterialization of portal blood may have important consequences for the success of intraportal transplantation of pancreatic islets.

Keywords: Experimental transplantation; Hyperoxia; Islets; Portal oxygenation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: *Department of Endocrinology, Royal Free Campus, Royal Free & University College Medical School, London, UK 2: †Department of Surgery, Royal Free Campus, Royal Free & University College Medical School, London, UK 3: ‡Centre for Nephrology, Royal Free Campus, Royal Free & University College Medical School, London, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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