Published online Mar 7, 2006. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i9.1367
Revised: May 1, 2005
Accepted: October 10, 2005
Published online: March 7, 2006
AIM: To study the blood-brain barrier integrity in prehepatic portal hypertensive rats induced by partial portal vein ligation, at 14 and 40 d after ligation when portal pressure is spontaneously normalized.
METHODS: Adult male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: Group I: Sham14d , sham operated; Group II: PH14d , portal vein stenosis; (both groups were used 14 days after surgery); Group III: Sham40d, Sham operated and Group IV: PH40d Portal vein stenosis (Groups II and IV used 40 d after surgery). Plasma ammonia, plasma and cerebrospinal fluid protein and liver enzymes concentrations were determined. Trypan and Evans blue dyes, systemically injected, were investigated in hippocampus to study blood-brain barrier integrity. Portal pressure was periodically recorded.
RESULTS: Forty days after stricture, portal pressure was normalized, plasma ammonia was moderately high, and both dyes were absent in central nervous system parenchyma. All other parameters were reestablished. When portal pressure was normalized and ammonia level was lowered, but not normal, the altered integrity of blood-brain barrier becomes reestablished.
CONCLUSION: The impairment of blood-brain barrier and subsequent normalization could be a mechanism involved in hepatic encephalopathy reversibility. Hemodynamic changes and ammonia could trigger blood-brain barrier alterations and its reestablishment.