Hepatic encephalopathy and prehepatic portal hypertension rat model

June 29, 2009

Portal hypertension is responsible for severe and often lethal complications of cirrhosis. Another important syndrome is hepatic encephalopathy as a consequence of acute and chronic liver failure, which is characterized by a wide spectrum of neuropsychiatric abnormalities. A study group from Argentina analyzed the participation in these syndromes of glutamine synthetase and glutamate uptake in the hippocampus and frontal cortex, by using the prehepatic PH rat model.

A research article to be published June 21, 2009 in the addresses this question. The research team lead by Dr. Gabriela Beatriz Acosta, observed that the activity of GS was increased in the hippocampus in PH rats. There was a significant decrease in glutamate uptake in both brain areas, which was more marked in the hippocampus.

The decrease in glutamate uptake might be caused by deficient transport function and persistent glutamate activity, which is not metabolized. This leads to severe damage in the cells of the central nervous system (CNS), associated with the presence of moderate ammonia concentration in the blood, as observed in this model. These results demonstrated that partial stricture of the portal vein is able to modify normal function in important areas of the rat brain.

These results suggest that, in PH this pathology, there are differences between both regions of the brain, possibly caused by the toxic metabolic action of ammonia and glutamate, and perhaps glutamine, in the brain, among other factors.

Using this model, it may be possible to understand more clearly the mechanism of toxicity and defense of the against the two toxic substances: and the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate. The study is important for understanding of some of the mechanisms related to HE.

More information: Acosta GB, Fernández MA, Roselló DM, Tomaro ML, Balestrasse K, Lemberg A. Glutamine synthetase activity and glutamate uptake in hippocampus and frontal cortex in portal hypertensive rats. World J Gastroenterol 2009; 15(23): 2893-2899 www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/15/2893.asp

Source: World Journal of Gastroenterology (news : web)

Explore further: Ibuprofen restores learning ability in rats with liver failure

Related Stories

Ibuprofen restores learning ability in rats with liver failure

August 1, 2007

Cognitive impairment is one of the neurological effects in patients with hepatic encephalopathy (abnormal brain function due to severe liver disease). For the first time, a new study showed that treatment with an anti-inflammatory ...

Pain in fibromyalgia is linked to changes in brain molecule

March 10, 2008

Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System have found a key linkage between pain and a specific brain molecule, a discovery that lends new insight into fibromyalgia, an often-baffling chronic pain condition.

Recommended for you

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

Quantum Theory May Explain Wishful Thinking

April 14, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Humans don’t always make the most rational decisions. As studies have shown, even when logic and reasoning point in one direction, sometimes we chose the opposite route, motivated by personal bias or simply ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.