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Braz J Med Biol Res. 2005 Jan;38(1):127-32. Epub 2005 Jan 18.

Evaluation of two experimental models of hepatic encephalopathy in rats.

Author information

1
Departamento de Psicobiologia, Facultad de Psicologia, Universidade Complutense, Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

The serious neuropsychological repercussions of hepatic encephalopathy have led to the creation of several experimental models in order to better understand the pathogenesis of the disease. In the present investigation, two possible causes of hepatic encephalopathy, cholestasis and portal hypertension, were chosen to study the behavioral impairments caused by the disease using an object recognition task. This working memory test is based on a paradigm of spontaneous delayed non-matching to sample and was performed 60 days after surgery. Male Wistar rats (225-250 g) were divided into three groups: two experimental groups, microsurgical cholestasis (N = 20) and extrahepatic portal hypertension (N = 20), and a control group (N = 20). A mild alteration of the recognition memory occurred in rats with cholestasis compared to control rats and portal hypertensive rats. The latter group showed the poorest performance on the basis of the behavioral indexes tested. In particular, only the control group spent significantly more time exploring novel objects compared to familiar ones (P < 0.001). In addition, the portal hypertension group spent the shortest time exploring both the novel and familiar objects (P < 0.001). These results suggest that the existence of portosystemic collateral circulation per se may be responsible for subclinical encephalopathy.

PMID:
15665999
DOI:
/S0100-879X2005000100019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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