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

N-acetylcysteine protects the rats against phrenic nerve dysfunction in sepsis.

This study investigates the association of oxidative stress with the function of the phrenic nerve and inquires whether N-acetylcysteine (NAC) may counteract the possible detrimental effects. Thirty rats were divided into three groups: sham, cecal ligation and puncture (CLP), and CLP plus NAC treatment. Sepsis was produced by the CLP procedure. NAC was administered at 70 mg/day for 7 days. Electrophysiology was evaluated by the needle electromyography of the diaphragm and phrenic nerve conduction study. Oxidative stress was evaluated by malondialdehyde (MDA), nitrite/nitrate (NN), and reduced-glutathione (ReGSH) levels and myeloperoxidase (MPO) and catalase (CAT) activities in the phrenic nerve. In the CLP group, ReGSH and CAT were decreased (P = 0.0001, P = 0.07, respectively); and MDA, MPO, and NN were increased (P = 0.02, P = 0.0001, P = 0.043, respectively), compared with the sham group. NAC administration increased the ReGSH (P = 0.036) and decreased the MDA, MPO, and NN (P = 0.008, P = 0.01, P = 0.032, respectively), compared with the CLP group. In the CLP group, electrophysiology revealed reductions in the number of motor unit action potentials (P = 0.0001) and prolongations in the latency of the compound nerve action potential (P = 0.0001), indicating phrenic nerve neuropathy. NAC administration significantly ameliorated these electrophysiological alterations (P = 0.011, P = 0.0001, respectively), compared with the CLP group. The present results showed that intraabdominal sepsis is closely associated with phrenic nerve neuropathy. In addition, NAC administration protects the rats against the detrimental events of sepsis.[1]


  1. N-acetylcysteine protects the rats against phrenic nerve dysfunction in sepsis. Atis, S., Nayci, A., Ozge, A., Comelekoglu, U., Gunes, S., Bagdatoglu, O. Shock (2006) [Pubmed]
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