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Establishment of an animal model of hepatic encephalopathy.

BACKGROUND: Hepatic encephalopathy is a neuropsychiatric syndrome associated with acute liver failure, chronic parenchymal liver disease or portal systemic anastomosis. The spectrum of symptoms may vary from subtle mental changes to a disrupted circadian rhythm to hepatic coma. In order to investigate the possible pathogenetic mediators and the use of potential new therapies, the aim of our study was to create a reliable animal model for research on hepatic encephalopathy. METHODS: Forty male Sprague-Dawley rats were used. Fulminant hepatic failure was induced by intraperitoneal injection of thioacetamide (TAA, 350 mg/kg) for three consecutive days (n = 30). Rats treated with normal saline served as controls (n = 10). The clinical stage of hepatic encephalopathy in TAA-treated rats was graded according to neurobehavioral testing. Spontaneous motor activities of rats were calculated using the Opto-Varimex animal activity meter. We also investigated the relationships between the neurobehavioral score and the motor activity count. RESULTS: Compared with normal, saline-treated rats, those receiving consecutive injections of TAA had apparently lower neurobehavioral scores (p < 0.001) accompanied by significantly blunted motor activities (p < 0.001). A significant correlation was demonstrated between the neurobehavioral score and total movements in rats with encephalopathy (r = 0.71, p < 0.001). In addition, the neurobehavioral score also correlated well with ambulatory movements (r = 0.73, p < 0.001) and vertical movements (r = 0.45, p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The rat model is acceptable for the study of hepatic encephalopathy, as established in this study. This experimental model can be used to explore the pathogenesis and management of hepatic encephalopathy.[1]

References

  1. Establishment of an animal model of hepatic encephalopathy. Chu, C.J., Lee, F.Y., Wang, S.S., Chang, F.Y., Lin, H.C., Wu, S.L., Chan, C.C., Tsai, Y.T., Lee, S.D. Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi (Taipei) (2000) [Pubmed]
 
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