Creatine-loading preserves intestinal barrier function during organ preservation

Konra Mueller, Matthew S. Kokotilo, Jodi M. Carter, Aducio Thiesen, Karen L. Madsen, Jacek Studzinski, Rachel G. Khadaroo, Thomas A. Churchill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We have developed a novel, intraluminal preservation solution that is tailored to the metabolic requirements of the intestine. This organ-specific solution addresses many of the problems associated with low temperature organ storage including energy, oxidative and osmotic stresses. However, conservation of energy levels remains one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome due to the inherent sensitivity of the mucosa to ischemia. Creatine-loading has become a popular and scientifically proven method of augmenting energy reserves in athletes performing anaerobic burst work activities. We hypothesized that if we could develop a method that was able to augment cellular energy levels, the structure and function of the mucosa would be more effectively preserved. The purpose of this study was to determine if creatine-loading is a feasible and effective strategy for preserving the intestine. Our data indicate that creatine loading has significant impact on energy levels during storage with corresponding improvements in mucosal structure and function. Both of our rodent models, a) continuous perfusion for 4 h and b) a single flush with our intraluminal preservation solution supplemented with 50 mM creatine, demonstrated significant improvements in creatine phosphate, ATP, Energy Charge and ATP/AMP following cold storage (P < 0.05). Notably, after 10 h creatine phosphate was 324% greater in Creatine-treated tissues compared to Controls (P < 0.05). Preferential utilization of glutathione in the Creatine group was effective at controlling oxidative injury after 10 h storage (P < 0.05). Improvements in barrier function and electrophysiology with creatine-treatment reflected superior mucosal integrity after 10 h storage; Permeability and Transepithelial resistance measurements remained at fresh tissue values. This was in stark contrast to Control tissues in which permeability rose to >300% of fresh tissue values (P < 0.005) and transepithelial resistance dropped by 95% (P < 0.005). After 10 h storage, Park's grading of histologic injury reflected extensive villus denudation (grade 4) in control tissues compared to healthy tissue (grade 0) in the Creatine group. This study demonstrates that a strategy of creatine supplementation of our intraluminal preservation solution facilitates the preservation of the intestinal mucosa during storage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Cold storage
  • Creatine loading
  • Intestinal-specific nutrients
  • Intraluminal preservation solution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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