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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Mar 17;1500(3):297-305.

Alterations of Na(+) homeostasis in hepatocyte reoxygenation injury.

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  • 1Department of Medical Science, University 'A. Avogadro' of East Piedmont, Via Solaroli 17, 27100, Novara, Italy.


Reperfusion injury represents an important cause of primary graft non-function during liver transplantation. However, the mechanism responsible for cellular damage during reoxygenation has not yet been completely understood. We have investigated whether changes in intracellular Na(+) distribution might contribute to cause hepatocyte damage during reoxygenation buffer after 24 h of cold storage. Hepatocyte reoxygenation resulted in a rapid increase in cellular Na(+) content that was associated with cytotoxicity. Na(+) accumulation and hepatocyte death were prevented by the omission of Na(+) from the incubation medium, but not by the addition of antioxidants. Blocking Na(+)/H(+) exchanger and Na(+)/HCO(3)(-) co-transporter by, respectively, 5-(N,N-dimethyl)-amiloride or omitting HCO(3)(-) from the reoxygenation medium significantly decreased Na(+) overload and cytotoxicity. Stimulation of ATP re-synthesis by the addition of fructose also lowered Na(+) accumulation and cell death during reoxygenation. A significant protection against Na(+)-mediated reoxygenation injury was evident in hepatocytes maintained in an acidic buffer (pH 6.5) or in the presence of glycine. The cytoprotective action of glycine or of the acidic buffer was reverted by promoting Na(+) influx with the Na(+)/H(+) ionophore monensin. Altogether, these results suggest that Na(+) accumulation during the early phases of reoxygenation might contribute to liver graft reperfusion injury.

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