Effects of N-acetylcysteine administration in hepatic microcirculation of rats with biliary cirrhosis.


BACKGROUND/AIMS Increased intrahepatic resistance (IHR) in cirrhosis is due to fibrosis and hepatic endothelial dysfunction (HED). Besides producing fibrosis, increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) promotes ROS-related nitration of anti-oxidative enzymes in cirrhotic livers. Tyrosine nitration (nitrotyrosilation)-related inactivation of anti-oxidative enzymes is increased in cirrhotic livers. This study investigates effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) administrations in bile-duct-ligation (BDL) rats. METHODS This study measured portal venous pressure (PVP), IHR, hepatic endothelial function, hepatic levels of anti-oxidants and oxidants, type III procollagen (PIIIP), proteins expression of thromboxane synthase (TXS), nitrotyrosine, manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), and hepatic NOx and thromboxane A(2) (TXA(2)) production in perfusates. RESULTS The improvement of HED was associated with decreased PVP and IHR, hepatic protein and mRNA levels of PIIIP, protein expression of TXS and nitrotyrosine, oxidants and production of TXA(2) in NAC-treated BDL rat livers. Conversely, hepatic NOx production, anti-oxidants, and protein expression of MnSOD were increased in NAC-treated BDL rat livers. CONCLUSIONS In NAC-treated cirrhotic rats, the decrease in IHR was mainly caused by its anti-oxidative effect-related prevention of hepatic fibrogenesis associated with the decrease of oxidants-related nitrotyrosilation and improvement of HED.


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