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J Int Med Res. 2012;40(5):1735-44.

Terlipressin resolves ascites of cirrhotic rats through downregulation of aquaporin 2.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.



To investigate the presence of aquaporin (AQP) 1 and AQP2 in kidneys of cirrhotic rats with ascites, and to determine the effect of terlipressin on AQP1 and AQP2 levels and its therapeutic efficacy in ascites treatment.


Eighteen rats were randomly divided into normal noncirrhotic rats treated with saline, cirrhotic rats treated with saline and cirrhotic rats treated with terlipressin (n = 6 per group). In all rats, 24-h net fluid-excretion volume, presence or absence of ascites and portal vein pressure were measured; AQP1 and AQP2 mRNA and protein levels in renal tissue were evaluated.


Terlipressin resolved ascites in all animals in the terlipressin-treated group, and significantly increased the 24-h net fluid-excretion volume and decreased portal vein pressure compared with saline treatment. AQP1 and AQP2 were significantly upregulated in cirrhotic rat kidneys compared with normal control rat kidneys. Terlipressin administration significantly down regulated AQP2 in rat kidneys but did not affect AQP1.


AQP1 and AQP2 are important factors in ascites induction. Terlipressin appears to be an effective drug for the treatment of ascites due to liver cirrhosis in a rat model, possibly due to AQP2 reduction in kidneys.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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