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J Hepatol. 2013 Feb;58(2):240-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2012.09.010. Epub 2012 Sep 16.

Recombinant human manganese superoxide dismutase reduces liver fibrosis and portal pressure in CCl4-cirrhotic rats.

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  • 1Hepatic Haemodynamic Laboratory, Liver Unit, Hospital Clínic, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS) and CIBERehd, University of Barcelona, Spain.



High oxidative stress plays a major role in increasing hepatic vascular resistance in cirrhosis, by facilitating liver fibrosis and by increasing hepatic vascular tone. This study is aimed at investigating whether the use of the novel isoform of recombinant human manganese superoxide dismutase (rMnSOD) could be a new therapeutic strategy to reduce oxidative stress and portal hypertension in cirrhotic rats.


In CCl(4)- and BDL-cirrhotic rats treated with rMnSOD (i.p. 15 μg/kg/day) or its vehicle for 7 days, mean arterial pressure (MAP), portal pressure (PP) and portal blood flow (PBF) or small mesenteric arterial flow (SMABF) were measured. In addition, in CCl(4)-cirrhotic rats, we evaluated the hepatic vasodilatory response to acetylcholine, liver fibrosis with Sirius red staining and hepatic stellate cell activation by α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) protein expression.


rMnSOD treatment significantly reduced PP either in CCl(4)- or BDL-cirrhotic rats without significant changes in splanchnic blood flow, suggesting a reduction in hepatic vascular resistance. MAP was not modified. Reduction in PP was associated with a significant reduction in liver fibrosis, and α-SMA protein expression as well as with improved vasodilatory response to acetylcholine.


Chronic rMnSOD administration to cirrhotic rats reduces portal pressure by reducing hepatic vascular resistance without deleterious effects on systemic hemodynamics, suggesting that it might constitute a new antioxidant to be considered as additional therapy for treating portal hypertension in cirrhosis.

Copyright © 2012 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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