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Bilzer, M.; Baron, A.; Schauer, R.; Steib, C.; Ebensberger, S.; Gerbes, Alexander L. (2002): Glutathione treatment protects the rat liver against injury after warm ischemia and Kupffer cell activation. In: Digestion, Nr. 1: S. 49-57




Background/Aim: The generation of reactive oxygen species by activated Kupffer cells (KC) may contribute to reperfusion injury of the liver during liver transplantation or resection. The aim of our present studies was to investigate (1) prevention of hepatic reperfusion injury after warm ischemia by administration of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) and (2) whether GSH confers protection through influences on KC toxicity. Methods: Isolated perfused rat livers were subjected to 1 h of warm ischemia followed by 90 min of reperfusion without (n = 5) or with GSH or catalase (n = 4-5 each). Selective KC activation by zymosan (150 mug/ml) in continuously perfused rat livers was used to investigate KC-related liver injury. Results: Postischemic infusion of 0.1, 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 mM GSH, but not 0.05 mM GSH prevented reperfusion injury after warm ischemia as indicated by a marked reduction of sinusoidal LDH efflux by up to 83 +/- 13% (mean +/- SD; p < 0.05) and a concomitant significant improvement of postischemic bile flow by 58 +/- 27% (p < 0.05). A similar protection was conveyed by KC blockade with gadolinium chloride indicating prevention of KC-related reperfusion injury by postischemic GSH treatment. Postischemic treatment with catalase (150 U/ml) resulted in a reduction of LDH efflux by 40 +/- 9% (p < 0.05). Accordingly, catalase as well as GSH (0.1-2.0 mM) nearly completely prevented the increase in LDH efflux following selective :KC activation by zymosan in continously perfused rat livers. Conclusion: Postischemic administration of GSH protects the liver against reperfusion injury after warm ischemia. Detoxification of KC-derived hydrogen peroxide seem to be an important feature of the protective mechanisms. Copyright (C) 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel.