Liver glutathione level influences myocardial reperfusion injury following liver ischemia-reperfusion

Avi A. Weinbroum*, Anat Kidron, Edith Hochhauser, Ayala Hochman, Valery Rudick, Bernardo Vidne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) both replenishes reduced glutathione (GSH) and mitigates reperfusion injury. We hypothesized that liver content of GSH could affect remote myocardial reperfusion injury following liver ischemia-reperfusion. Material and methods: Following stabilization (30 min), isolated rat livers (6/group) were perfused with Krebs-Henseleit solution (two control groups) or made globally ischemic (two ischemia groups) for 120 min. Paired livers+paced hearts (Langendorff preparation) were then reperfused for 15 min after which the hearts were recirculated alone for 50 min. NAC was added to Krebs (2 mM) that perfused livers during stabilization and reperfusion phases in one control and one ischemia group. Results: GSH levels in the two control liver groups were identical (30.1±5.7 [SD] nmol/mg protein), and similar to that of the ischemia+NAC livers (28.6±2.8) but 2-fold that of the ischemia+0 livers (15.8±2.4 nmol/mg protein, p<0.05). While hearts paired with control livers maintained unchanged their myocardial velocity of contraction, the contraction in the ischemia+NAC-paired hearts reduced, but was better than in the ischemia+0-paired hearts (71±8% vs. 41±6% off baseline, p<0. 05). Coronary flow also decreased dissimilarly in the two ischemia-associated groups of heart: 72±9% (ischemia+NAC) vs. 46±7% (ischemia+0, p<0.05). Xanthine oxidase in the ischemia+0 livers was 7.5-folds higher than in the ischemia-treated livers. Conclusions: NAC treatment of ischemia-reperfused livers, associated with GSH replenishment, prevents remote myocardial reperfusion injury. The role of NAC and GSH in reducing liver-associated oxidative burst propagation is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1137-1144
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Science Monitor
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


  • Antioxidants
  • Coronary flow
  • Heart
  • Ischemia-reperfusion
  • Liver
  • Liver damage
  • Myocardial dysfunction
  • N-acetyl-l-cysteine
  • Oxidants
  • Reduced glutathione
  • Xanthine oxidase


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