The main goal of adequate organ preservation is to avoid further cellular metabolism during the phase of ischemia. However, modern preservation solutions do rarely achieve this target. In donor organs hypoxia and ischemia induce a broad spectrum of pathologic molecular mechanisms favoring primary graft dysfunction (PGD) after transplantation. Increased hypoxia-induced transcriptional activity leads to increased vascular permeability which in turn is the soil of a reperfusion edema and the enhancement of a pro-inflammatory response in the graft after reperfusion. We hypothesize that inhibition of the respiration chain in mitochondria and thus inhibition of the hypoxia induced mechanisms might reduce reperfusion edema and consecutively improve survival in vivo. In this study we demonstrate that the rotenoid Deguelin reduces the expression of hypoxia induced target genes, and especially VEGF-A, dose-dependently in hypoxic human lung derived cells. Furthermore, Deguelin significantly suppresses the mRNA expression of the HIF target genes VEGF-A, the pro-inflammatory CXCR4 and ICAM-1 in ischemic lungs vs. control lungs. After lung transplantation, the VEGF-A induced reperfusion-edema is significantly lower in Deguelin-treated animals than in controls. Deguelin-treated rats exhibit a significantly increased survival-rate after transplantation. Additionally, a downregulation of the pro-inflammatory molecules ICAM-1 and CXCR4 and an increase in the recruitment of immunomodulatory monocytes (CD163+ and CD68+) to the transplanted organ involving the IL4 pathway was observed. Therefore, we conclude that ischemic periods preceding reperfusion are mainly responsible for the increased vascular permeability via upregulation of VEGF. Together with this, the resulting endothelial dysfunction also enhances inflammation and consequently lung dysfunction. Deguelin significantly decreases a VEGF-A induced reperfusion edema, induces the recruitment of immunomodulatory monocytes and thus improves organ function and survival after lung transplantation by interfering with hypoxia induced signaling.