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J Pediatr Surg. 2003 Sep;38(9):1341-7.

Protective effect of polyunsaturated phosphatidylcholine on liver damage induced by biliary obstruction in rats.

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Department of Pediatric Surgery, Inönü University School of Medicine, Malatya, Turkey.



Persistent inflammatory response secondary to congenital or acquired biliary choleastasis plays an important role in the pathophysiology of hepatic tissue damage. The polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) have been shown to suppress the inflammatory reactions in vivo and in vitro. PUFA has been shown also to protect against various types of experimental liver damage in animal models and isolated hepatocytes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the protective effect of PUFA administration on liver damage using the rat chronic biliary obstruction model.


Swiss albino rats of either sex were divided into 4 groups as follows: control group (group 1, 10 rats); rats with sham operation and treated with saline group 2, 10 rats); rats with biliary obstruction (group 3, 15 rats); and polyunsaturated phophatidylcholine (PPC)-treated rats with biliary obstruction (Group 4, 15 rats). Biliary obstruction was induced by double ligation and division of the common bile duct. PUFA treatment was started 2 weeks later from biliary obstruction in doses of 50 mg/d per rat and continued for 2 weeks. All animals were killed after 4 weeks of common bile duct ligation or sham operation. Liver damage and cholestasis were determined by biochemical and histologic examinations.


The data showed a decrease in plasma bilirubin level (both conjugated and unconjugated) and liver enzyme levels (AST, ALT, AP, GGT, 5'-NT) in group 4, when compared with group 3 (P <.05). Tissue levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) in group 4 was 20.00 +/- 2.93 compared with that in group 3, 27.12 +/- 2.96 (P <.05). Administration of PUFA to the biliary obstructed rats resulted in inhibition of collagen accumulation (P <.05) and ductal proliferation (P <.05).


PUFA reduced liver damage, ductular proliferation, and fibrosis in biliary obstructed rats. These effects suggest that it might be a useful agent to preserve liver function in patients with biliary obstruction such as biliary atresia.

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