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Can J Gastroenterol. 2000 Mar;14(3):175-80.

TNF-alpha but not IL-1alpha is correlated with PGE1-dependent protection against acute D-galactosamine-induced liver injury.

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  • 1Hospital Universitario Reina Sofía, Córdoba, Spain. jmuntane@sofia.hrs.sas.cica.es



Prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) treatment of humans and rodents during acute hepatic failure ameliorates different parameters of hepatic dysfunction.


To investigate whether prevention of acute liver injury induced by D-galactosamine (D-GalN) with preadministration of PGE1 is correlated with a change in the concentration of two proinflammatory cytokines, as tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin (IL)-1alpha, and/or nitrite+nitrate (NOx), as nitric oxide-related end products in serum.


D-GalN significantly increased alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and TNF-alpha concentration in serum 5 and 10 mins, respectively, after treatment compared with the control group (P< or =0.05). D-GalN did not change the IL-1alpha concentration at any time during the study. Preadministration of PGE1 to D-GalN-treated rats significantly reduced the ALT content and increased significantly the TNF-alpha concentration in serum 1, 2.5, 5 and 10 mins after D-GalN treatment compared with the D-GalN group (P< or =0.05). Nitric oxide was not involved in either the toxic effect due to D-GalN or the protection observed with PGE1 against D-GalN toxicity.


Acute liver injury induced by D-GalN is correlated with an increased TNF-alpha release. Preadministration of PGE1 to D-GalN-treated rats exerted a priming effect on inflammatory cells to release enhanced levels of TNF-alpha but not IL-1alpha. These findings indicate that stimulation of TNF-alpha release may be involved in the acute D-GalN-induced liver injury and also in PGE1 protection from hepatotoxicity in clinical and experimental studies.

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