Conceptual review of the hepatic vascular bed.

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.
Hepatology (Impact Factor: 11.19). 01/2005; 7(5):952-63. DOI: 10.1002/hep.1840070527
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    ABSTRACT: Central administration of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) enhances hepatic blood flow in animal models. TRH nerve fibers and receptors are localized in the dorsal vagal complex (DVC), and retrograde tracing techniques have shown that hepatic vagal nerves arise mainly from the left DVC. However, nothing is known about the central sites of action for TRH to elicit the stimulation of hepatic blood flow. The effect of microinjection of a TRH analogue into the DVC on hepatic blood flow was investigated in urethane-anesthetized rats. After measuring basal flow, a stable TRH analogue (RX-77368) was microinjected into the DVC and hepatic blood flow response was observed for 120 minutes by laser Doppler flowmetry. Either left or right cervical vagotomy or hepatic branch vagotomy was performed 2 hours before the peptide. Microinjection of RX-77368 (0.5-5 ng) into the left DVC dose-dependently increased hepatic blood flow. The stimulation of hepatic blood flow by RX-77368 microinjection into the left DVC was eliminated by left cervical and hepatic branch vagotomy but not by right cervical vagotomy. By contrast, microinjection of RX-77368 into the right DVC did not significantly alter hepatic blood flow. These results suggest that TRH acts in the left DVC to stimulate hepatic blood flow through the left cervical and hepatic vagus, indicating that neuropeptides may act in the specific brain nuclei to regulate hepatic function. (Hepatology 2003;38:1500-1507.)
    Hepatology 12/2003; 38(6):1500-1507. · 11.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We perfused livers from fed rats with a balanced salt solution containing 1 mmol/L glucose. Under these conditions a low steady rate of glycogenolysis was observed (approximately 1.7 micromol glucose equivalents/g/min; 20% of the maximal glycogenolytic activity). Nitric oxide (NO) transiently stimulated hepatic glucose production. A maximal response (on average doubling basal glucose output) was observed with 34 micromol/L NO. The same concentration of nitrite (NO2-) was ineffective. Half-maximal effects were seen at 8 to 10 micromol/L NO, irrespective of the flow direction (portocaval or retrograde). This glycogenolytic response to NO corresponded to a partial activation of phosphorylase. The NO effect was not additive to maximal stimulation of glycogenolysis (7.7 +/- 0.2 micromol hexose equivalents/g/min; n = 4) by 100 micromol/L dibutyryl cyclic adenosine monophosphate (Bt2cAMP). The requirement for activation of phosphorylase was also evidenced by the ineffectiveness of NO in phosphorylase-kinase-deficient livers of gsd/gsd rats. The NO effect was blocked by co-administration of cyclooxygenase inhibitors (50 micromol/L ibuprofen, 50 micromol/L indomethacin, or 2 mmol/L aspirin), suggesting a mediatory role of prostanoids from nonparenchymal cells. This conclusion was confirmed by the fact that NO did not activate phosphorylase in isolated hepatocytes. Moreover, NO was no longer glycogenolytic in livers perfused with Ca2+-free medium, in agreement with the known mediatory role of Ca2+ in prostanoid-mediated responses. Surprisingly, in Ca2+- free medium NO inhibited the basal glucose production. This coincided with an increased elution of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). Inhibition of glycogenolysis by NO under these conditions was blocked by 1 mmol/L theophylline, suggestive for involvement of cGMP-stimulated cAMP phosphodiesterase. However, we could not confirm that an increase in cGMP resulted in a drop in cAMP. In conclusion, NO recruits opposing mechanisms with respect to modulation of basal hepatic glycogenolysis. In the presence of Ca2+, activation of phosphorylase with stimulation of glycogenolysis dominates. Cyclooxygenase inhibitors abolish this effect. Activation by NO of the cyclooxygenase in nonparenchymal cells is a distinct possibility. In the absence of Ca2+, inhibition of basal glycogenolysis becomes observable. It remains to be established whether this results from cGMP-mediated stimulation of hydrolysis of cAMP. (Hepatology 1996 Jun;23(6):1564-71)
    Hepatology 06/1996; 23(6):1564-1571. · 11.19 Impact Factor