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Cryobiology. 2000 Sep;41(2):145-52.

Bile analysis as a tool for assessing integrity of biliary epithelial cells after cold ischemia--reperfusion of rat livers.

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Laboratory of Perfused Organs, SCOT, Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine, 83301 Bratislava, Slovakia.


Previous morphological studies failed to show appreciable injury of biliary epithelial cells (BEC) after cold ischemia of rat liver, although recent evidence indicated that BEC integrity and function were impaired in this model. We tested the hypothesis that analysis of bile for enzymes, such as lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), alanine transaminase (ALT), and aspartate transaminase (AST), can be used for assessing cold ischemic injury of BEC. Furthermore, we examined whether biliary gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) reflects warm ischemic injury of BEC and whether normothermic reperfusion aggravates the negative effect of cold ischemia on BEC integrity and function. Rat livers were reperfused after different periods of cold or warm ischemia using a blood-free perfusion model. Compared with controls, perfusate LDH, ALT, and AST levels and parameters of hepatocyte function, including hepatocyte tight junction permeability, were not significantly altered by 18-h cold ischemia. On the other hand, 9-h cold ischemia markedly increased biliary LDH, ALT, and AST levels. However, only LDH release into the bile was strongly dependent on the time of cold storage. Biliary GGT, LDH, and glucose levels decreased during the reperfusion period following 18-h cold ischemia. The results suggest that biliary LDH can be used for assessing injury of BEC in cold-preserved livers and that normothermic reperfusion does not aggravate preservation-induced injury of BEC after cold ischemic storage.

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