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Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int. 2005 Feb;4(1):37-40.

Protective effects of glycine pretreatment on brain-death donor liver.

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Department of Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, China.



Morphological and functional changes commonly occur in livers of brain-death donors. Prevention of liver injury from brain-death will benefit the results of transplantation. This study was conducted to evaluate the protection effects of glycine on the liver of brain-death donor.


Fourty-two male Wistar rats were randomly divided into brain-death donor (BDD) group (B), glycine pretreatment group with BDD (G), and strychnine pretreatment group with BDD(S). For these groups, brain death model was established in donor rats and liver transplantation was performed subsequently utilizing microsurgical techniques. After the establishment of the model and during cold rinsing of liver donors or liver reperfusion of recipients, glycine was given at a dose of 0.6 mmol, 25 micromol and 25 micromol in the group G, and a same dose of glycine and strychnine (1000 :1) was prescribed for the group S, but nothing for the group B. Before cold rinsing at 2 and 6 hours after portal vein(PV) reperfusion, blood samples were taken from infrahepatic vena cava (IHVC) to determine the levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and hyaluronic acid (HA). At 6 hours after PV reperfusion, graft samples were fixed for morphological observation and apoptosis of hepatocytes was detected using the TUNEL method.


Before liver cold rinsing and at 2 and 6 hours after PV reperfusion, the serum levels of ALT, AST, TNF-alpha, HA and apoptosis index (AI) in the groups B and S were significantly higher than those in the group G (P<0.05). There was no significant difference between the groups B and S (P>0.05). Electron microscopy showed that Kupffer cells were activated and hepatic cells injured more obviously in the groups B and S than in the group G.


Glycine pretreatment can improve the viability of the liver of the brain-death donor rat.

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