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Gastroenterology. 1996 Mar;110(3):866-74.

Portal hypertension enhances endotoxin-induced intercellular adhesion molecule 1 up-regulation in the rat.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Louisiana State University Medical Center, Shreveport, USA.



Liver disease or portosystemic shunting enhances th e sensitivity to endotoxin. The aim of this study was to investigate whether intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) expression in response to endotoxin may be dysregulated in an animal model of portal hypertension.


Portal hypertension was induced by partial portal vein ligation. Sham-operated animals served as controls. ICAM-1 expression was measured using radiolabeled antibodies under baseline conditions or 5 hours after treatment with either endotoxin or recombinant tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Immunoreactive plasma TNF was also measured.


Under baseline conditions, ICAM-1 expression in all organs studied was similar in portal-hypertensive and sham-operated rats. ICAM-1 up-regulation after a high dose of endotoxin (5 mg/kg) was similar in both groups of animals. However, portal-hypertensive animals showed a significantly higher ICAM-1 expression in response to low doses of endotoxin (0.1-10 microgram/kg). The response to a low (but not a high) dose of recombinant TNF was also significantly enhanced in portal-hypertensive animals. In addition, portal-hypertensive rats had higher plasma TNF levels after treatment with endotoxin or recombinant TNF.


Portal hypertension induces an exaggerated ICAM-1 up-regulation in response to endotoxin, which is related to an increased production and decreased clearance of the cytokine.

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