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

Roles of anandamide in the hepatic microcirculation in cirrhotic rats.

Cannabinoids have been reported to participate in the pathogenesis of peripheral vasodilatation in cirrhosis. However, their roles in increased intrahepatic resistance (IHR) in cirrhotic livers are unknown. We aimed to investigate the effects of cannabinoids in the hepatic microcirculation of cirrhotic rats produced by bile duct ligation. In isolated liver perfusion, portal perfusion pressure (PPP) and the production of eicosanoids in the perfusate were measured. In addition, various hepatic protein levels [cyclooxygenase (COX) isoform and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX)] were also determined. Finally, concentration-response curves for PPP and the corresponding production of eicosanoids in response to anandamide (1.44 x 10(-10)-1.44 x 10(-3) M) after indomethacin (COX inhibitor), piriprost (5-LOX inhibitor), or furegrelate (thromboxane A(2) synthase inhibitor) preincubation were obtained. The study showed that cirrhotic livers had significantly higher levels of PPP, COX-2 and 5-LOX protein expression, and production of thromboxane B(2) (TXB(2)) and cysteinyl leukotrienes (Cys-LTs) than normal livers. Anandamide induced a dose-dependent increase in PPP in both normal and cirrhotic livers. The anandamide-induced increase in PPP was found concomitantly with a significant increase in TXB(2) and Cys-LT production in the perfusate. In response to anandamide administration, cirrhotic livers exhibited a significantly greater increase in IHR and production of TXB(2) and Cys-LTs than normal livers. Indomethacin and furegrelate, but not piriprost, significantly ameliorated the anandamide-induced increase in IHR in cirrhotic livers. In conclusion, anandamide plays, in part, an important role in increased IHR of cirrhotic livers. The anandamide-induced increase in IHR in cirrhotic livers may be mediated by increased COX-derived eicosanoid (mainly thromboxane A(2)) production.[1]


  1. Roles of anandamide in the hepatic microcirculation in cirrhotic rats. Yang, Y.Y., Lin, H.C., Huang, Y.T., Lee, T.Y., Hou, M.C., Wang, Y.W., Lee, F.Y., Lee, S.D. Am. J. Physiol. Gastrointest. Liver Physiol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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