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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Reversal of behavioral changes in rats subjected to portacaval shunt with oral neomycin therapy.

The portacaval shunt rat is often used as a model of human portal-systemic encephalopathy, but its relevance to human portal-systemic encephalopathy remains uncertain. Specifically, it has not been demonstrated that the behavioral changes seen in this model respond to measures known to improve portal-systemic encephalopathy in human subjects. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to establish whether neomycin (an effective treatment for portal-systemic encephalopathy in human beings) added to the drinking water of rats subjected to portacaval shunt reversed or ameliorated the reduction in spontaneous motor activity, which represents a measure of encephalopathy in this animal model. A randomized, placebo-controlled crossover design was used, with each animal serving as its own control. After establishment of baseline activities, 12 rats with portacaval shunt and 12 sham-operated rats were divided into two equal groups: Group A animals received neomycin for 1 wk; this was followed by 1 wk off neomycin; in group B rats, the sequence was reversed. Spontaneous intake of neomycin for 7 days at doses comparable to human usage (0.1 to 0.2 gm/kg/day) was associated with a significant increase in spontaneous motor activity in rats subjected to portacaval shunt (26.4% in group A, 66.3% in group B; p < 0.01 for each protocol) with no significant effect in sham-operated animals. Withdrawal of neomycin resulted in reversal of this effect in group A rats subjected to portacaval shunt. Similar significant improvements for exploratory activity as measured on the basis of nose-hole pokes was also seen in rats subjected to portacaval shunt and given neomycin.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


  1. Reversal of behavioral changes in rats subjected to portacaval shunt with oral neomycin therapy. Conjeevaram, H.S., Nagle, A., Katz, A., Kaminsky-Russ, K., McCullough, A.J., Mullen, K.D. Hepatology (1994) [Pubmed]
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