Original Articles
Copyright ©2009 The WJG Press and Baishideng. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Sep 28, 2009; 15(36): 4529-4537
Published online Sep 28, 2009. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.4529
Attenuation of portal hypertension by natural taurine in rats with liver cirrhosis
Jian Liang, Xin Deng, Zhi-Xiu Lin, Li-Chun Zhao, Xi-Liu Zhang
Jian Liang, Xin Deng, Li-Chun Zhao, The Affiliated Ruikang Hospital of Guangxi Traditional Chinese Medical College, Nanning 530011, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China
Zhi-Xiu Lin, School of Chinese Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, China
Xi-Liu Zhang, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi University of Chinese Medicine, Nanning 530021, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China
Author contributions: Liang J and Deng X designed research; Deng X and Zhang XL performed research; Deng X and Lin ZX analyzed data; Liang J, Lin ZX and Zhao LC wrote and revised the paper.
Supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, Grant, No. 30660235; Guangxi Science Foundation for Youths, Grant, No. 0728080; National “11th 5-year” Support Plan of China, Grant, No. 2006BAI0802-07
Correspondence to: Xin Deng, MD, PhD, The Affiliated Ruikang Hospital of Guangxi Traditional Chinese Medical College, Nanning 530011, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China. dx8848@126.com
Telephone: +86-771-2321919 Fax: +86-771-2411156
Received: June 15, 2009
Revised: August 18, 2009
Accepted: August 25, 2009
Published online: September 28, 2009

AIM: To investigate the inhibitory effect of natural taurine (NTau) on portal hypertension (PHT) in rats with experimentally-induced liver cirrhosis (LC).

METHODS: Experimentally-induced LC Wistar rats (20 rats/group) were treated with either oral saline or oral NTau for 6 consecutive weeks. Evaluation parameters included portal venous pressure (PVP), portal venous resistance (PVR), portal venous flow (PVF), splanchnic vascular resistance (SVR) and mean arterial pressure (MAP). Vasoactive substance levels including nitric oxide (NO), nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) were also measured. Histological investigation of type I and III collagen (COL I and III) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) was also performed.

RESULTS: Treatment with NTau (1) significantly decreased PVP, PVR and PVF, and increased MAP and SVP; (2) markedly increased the vascular compliance and reduced the zero-stress of the portal vein; (3) markedly decreased the amount of NO and cGMP and activity of NOS; and (4) improved the pathological status of the liver tissue and reduced the expression of COL I, COL III and TGF-β1.

CONCLUSION: NTau inhibited the LC-induced PHT by improving hyperdynamic circulation, morphology of liver and biomechanical properties of the portal vein in experimentally-induced LC rats.

Keywords: Taurine, Liver cirrhosis, Portal hypertension, Rat