Hepatic encephalopathy and prehepatic portal hypertension rat model

Jun 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: The impact of bacteria in our guts

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ibuprofen restores learning ability in rats with liver failure

Aug 01, 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 ...

New perspective on brain function now possible

May 28, 2007

A newly started research collaboration between Karolinska Institutet and AstraZeneca has already generated results. For the first time, the conditions have been created to study one of the brain's most important neurotransmission ...

Pain in fibromyalgia is linked to changes in brain molecule

Mar 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

The impact of bacteria in our guts

14 hours ago

The word metabolism gets tossed around a lot, but it means much more than whether you can go back to the buffet for seconds without worrying about your waistline. In fact, metabolism is the set of biochemical ...

Stem cell therapies hold promise, but obstacles remain

14 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—In an article appearing online today in the journal Science, a group of researchers, including University of Rochester neurologist Steve Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., review the potential and ch ...

New hope in fight against muscular dystrophy

15 hours ago

Research at Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology offers hope to those who suffer from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, an incurable, debilitating disease that cuts young lives short.

Biologists reprogram skin cells to mimic rare disease

Aug 21, 2014

Johns Hopkins stem cell biologists have found a way to reprogram a patient's skin cells into cells that mimic and display many biological features of a rare genetic disorder called familial dysautonomia. ...

User comments : 0