Achim Kircher

Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Mayence, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany

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Publications (5)11.33 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We aimed to determine whether 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NPA) preconditioning protects rat livers against warm ischemia/reperfusion injury. We hypothesized that 3-NPA mediates its protective effects by Bcl-2 upregulation. Brown-Norway rats (200 g) were injected with 3-NPA (10 mg/kg intraperitoneally) 24 h before 90 min of selective warm in situ ischemia. In additional experiments, 30-day survival was studied after 90 min of warm liver ischemia and resection of nonischemic liver tissue. We demonstrate increased mRNA and protein levels of Bcl-2 by real-time polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry, and Western blot analysis in 3-NPA-pretreated rats. All treated animals survived, whereas all untreated rats died within 3 days after selective ischemia and resection of the nonischemic tissue. This corresponded well with a significant decrease of caspases 3 and 9 activity at 1 h of reperfusion after preconditioning with 3-NPA as compared with untreated rats. The histological sections showed protection of liver tissue after 3-NPA by reduction of apoptotic and oncotic tissue damage. Lipid peroxidation in liver tissue was reduced after 3-NPA preconditioning. We show that subtoxic doses of the mitochondrial toxin 3-NPA induces tolerance to warm liver ischemia in rats associated by synthesis of Bcl-2. Bcl-2 upregulation might protect against the postischemic burst of reactive oxygen species and therefore reduces apoptotic- and oncotic-related cell death.
    Shock (Augusta, Ga.) 06/2008; 30(6):699-704. · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To compare different preconditioning strategies to protect the liver from ischemia/reperfusion injury focusing on the expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins. Interventions comprised different modes of ischemic preconditioning (IP) as well as pharmacologic pretreatment by alpha-lipoic acid (LA). Several groups of rats were compared: sham operated animals, non-pretreated animals (nt), animals receiving IP (10 min of ischemia by clamping of the portal triad and 10 min of reperfusion) prior to sustained ischemia, animals receiving selective ischemic preconditioning (IPsel, 10 min of ischemia by selective clamping of the ischemic lobe and 10 min of reperfusion) prior to sustained ischemia, and animals receiving 500 micromol alpha-LA injected i.v. 15 min prior to the induction of 90 min of selective ischemia. Cellular damage was decreased only in the LA group. TUNEL-positive hepatocytes as well as necrotic hepatocyte injury were also decreased only by LA (19 +/- 2 vs 10 +/- 1, P < 0.05 and 29 +/- 5 vs 12 +/- 1, P < 0.05). Whereas caspase 3- activities in liver tissue were unchanged, caspase 9- activity in liver tissue was decreased only by LA pretreatment (3.1 +/- 0.3 vs 1.8 +/- 0.2, P < 0.05). Survival rate as the endpoint of liver function was increased after IP and LA pretreatment but not after IPsel. Levels of lipid peroxidation (LPO) in liver tissue were decreased in the IP as well as in the LA group compared to the nt group. Determination of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins showed a shift towards anti-apoptotic proteins by LA. In contrast, both our IP strategies failed to influence apoptotic cell death. IP, consisting of 10 min of ischemia and 10 min of reperfusion, protects only partly against ischemia/reperfusion injury of the liver prior to 90 min of selective ischemia. IPsel did not influence ischemic tolerance of the liver. LA improved tolerance to ischemia, possibly by downregulation of pro-apoptotic Bax.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 07/2007; 13(27):3692-8. · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to characterize the in vivo action of lipoic acid (LA) in hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) and its effects on liver regeneration involving the investigation of mechanisms of action and effects on animal survival. Two groups of rats were compared: one group received 500 micromol alpha-LA injected via the inferior vena cava 15 min before the induction of 90 min of selective ischemia. The untreated group received vehicle. Influence of LA on IRI of the liver was determined in short- and long-term experiments. Cellular damage was decreased under preconditioning conditions with LA. Caspase 3, 8, and 9 activities were significantly lower in the LA group accompanied by a decrease in terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling-positive hepatocytes. Electron micrographs in the untreated group showed massive mitochondrial damage. The survival rate as end point of liver function was markedly increased after pretreatment with LA. Increased levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha was shown by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay as well as real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in the LA group accompanied by increased mitotic index and Ki-67 staining in liver tissue. Attenuation of IRI of the rat liver in vivo by LA is accompanied by reduction of necrosis and apoptosis-related cell death, whereas liver regeneration is increased.
    Shock 07/2007; 27(6):644-51. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the protective effects of preconditioning by alpha-lipoic acid (LA) in patients undergoing hepatic resection under inflow occlusion of the liver. Twenty-four patients undergoing liver resection for various reasons either received 600 mg LA or NaCl 15 min before transection performed under inflow occlusion of the liver. Blood samples and liver wedge biopsy samples were obtained after opening of the abdomen immediately after inflow occlusion of the liver, and 30 min after the end of inflow occlusion of the liver. Serum levels of aspartate transferase and alanine transferase were reduced at all time points in patients who received LA in comparison to those who received NaCL. This was accompanied by reduced histomorphological features of oncosis. We observed TUNEL-positive hepatocytes in the livers of the untreated patients, especially after 30 min of ischemia. LA attenuated this increase of TUNEL-positive hepatocytes. Under preconditioning with LA, ATP content was significantly enhanced after 30 min of ischemia and after 30 min of reperfusion. This is the first report on the potential for LA reducing ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) of the liver in humans who were undergoing liver surgery. Beside its simple and rapid application, side effects did not occur. LA might therefore represent a new strategy against hepatic IRI in humans.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 12/2006; 12(42):6812-7. · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Alpha-lipoic (LA) acid pretreatment has previously been described to reduce ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) after warm liver ischemia, whereas glycine pretreatment has been shown to be protective mostly in models of cold hepatic ischemia. The aim of this study was to determine whether glycine decreases IRI after warm hepatic ischemia. Furthermore we investigated whether doses of LA other than those used previously are also protective against IRI after warm hepatic ischemia. Selective liver ischemia was maintained over a period of 90 min. In long-term as well as short-term experiments we studied IRI in several groups comparing animal survival as the pivotal endpoint. Animal survival was improved by glycine and 5,000 micromol LA, whereas all animals died within 3 days after pretreatment with 50 micromol LA. In the glycine group we observed a tendency towards decreased apoptosis-related cell death measured by the activity of caspase-3 in liver tissue and the percentage of TUNEL-positive hepatocytes in comparison to the untreated group. Serum alpha-glutathione S-transferase, lipid peroxidation, and caspase-3 activity as well as the percentage of TUNEL-positive hepatocytes and the percentage of liver necrosis were only significantly decreased by 5,000 micromol LA pretreatment. Liver tissue levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)alpha were reduced only in the glycine group whereas TNFalpha was increased in the untreated as well as the LA group. Levels of TNFalpha mRNA were upregulated in both the glycine- and LA-pretreated groups. Our data show that increased animal survival by glycine was accompanied by a reduced TNFalpha content in liver tissue. Protection by glycine is likely to result from a reduction in adverse TNFalpha effects. Administration of high-dose LA on the other hand led to a significant reduction in necrosis- and apoptosis-related cell death in IRI of the liver without a reduction in liver TNFalpha.
    European Surgical Research 02/2006; 38(6):503-12. · 0.75 Impact Factor