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Hepatology. 1993 Jan;17(1):91-8.

Glycine protects hepatocytes from injury caused by anoxia, cold ischemia and mitochondrial inhibitors, but not injury caused by calcium ionophores or oxidative stress.

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Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53792.


Isolated hepatocytes, suspended in an organ preservation solution, can be preserved at 4 degrees C for up to 6 days. After preservation, normothermic-normoxic incubation causes loss of hepatocyte viability. The addition of 3 mmol/L glycine to the rewarming medium prevents the loss of viability. In this study we investigated the cytoprotective effects of glycine under many conditions known to cause hepatocellular injury to understand the mechanism of cold-induced injury in the liver. Hepatocytes were suspended in modified Krebs-Henseleit buffer with or without 3 mmol/L glycine and exposed to agents or conditions known to induce cell death. Hepatocyte viability was assessed by measuring the percentage of lactate dehydrogenase leakage from the cells and the concentration of ATP during incubation at 37 degrees C under room air for up to 90 min. Mitochondrial inhibitors (potassium cyanide and carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone); calcium ionophores (ionomycin and A23187); an oxidizing agent, tert-butyl hydroperoxide; and anoxia were all used to cause cell injury. Hepatocytes were also isolated from fasted rats and hypothermically preserved as another model of cell death. Other amino acids were also tested in the hypothermic preservation model to study the specificity of the amino acid requirement for prevention of lactate dehydrogenase leakage. Of the amino acids tested, only alanine (10 mmol/L) and the combination of alanine (3 mmol/L) and serine (3 mmol/L) were as effective as glycine in preventing lactate dehydrogenase release in the hypothermic preservation model.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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