Based on current information, we have described the role that metals play in potentiating and ameliorating liver I/R injury. To date, most of the data have focused on the deleterious effects of free iron in mediating I/R injury. Several therapeutic strategies have proven useful in animal models to counteract the effect of iron as a potentiator of I/R injury. These approaches have predominantly centered on the role of iron chelation using DFO and DFO conjugates. The data suggest that chelation of iron may prove useful in preventing I/R injury such as occurs in liver transplantation. Indeed, enough data are now avail able to initiate and support clinical trials (e.g., addition of DFO conjugates to explant storage solutions). The role of copper, however, is less well defined. Copper is important for the function of copper-zinc SOD. However, free copper may be as injurious as free iron. Further studies are needed to clarify the role of copper in I/R- induced hepatocellular necrosis. Selenium has a well-defined antioxidant role as part of GSH peroxidase (GSH antioxidant pathway). More recent data suggest that selenium may also act as an antioxidant through selenoprotein P, but the role of selenoprotein P in I/R injury remains to be defined. Finally, zinc appears to function as an antioxidant in less well defined pathways. Further studies are needed to identify the fundamental mechanisms by which zinc may ameliorate oxidative damage during I/R injury. These data demonstrate that metals play a critical role in I/R injury of the liver and remain a fruitful area for investigation and development of therapeutic strategies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas