Study of Iron Homeostasis Following Partial Hepatectomy in Rats with Chronic Aluminum Intoxication

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Effects of both chronic aluminum (Al) exposure and partial hepatectomy on iron (Fe) homeostasis were studied. Male Wistar rats were intraperitoneally administered either 27 mg Al/kg body weight (as aluminum hydroxide) or the vehicle saline, three times a week for 3 mo. After this time, half of the rats of each group was sham operated (SH) and the other half was partially hepatectomized (PH). Animals of the four experi-mental groups (vehicle+SH [SH]; Al+SH; vehicle+PH [PH], and Al+PH) were killed 48 h after the surgical procedure. Serum, hepatic, and intestinal Al levels were found to be increased both for Al+SH and Al+PH. The serum Fe concentration and transferrin saturation percentage were significantly diminished in the rats of the Al+PH group, thus showing interaction between Al administration and PH. The 59 Fe mucosal-to-serosal transport, studied in the intestinal loop in situ, was not affected by Al or PH. The malregulation of intestinal Fe absorption in Al exposure and/or PH when the serum Fe concentration was diminished could be the result of the increased lipid peroxidation (thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances [TBARS]) observed in this tissue. Mucosal TBARS were increased by Al exposure (+26%) and PH (+37%) and interaction between Al and PH was observed (+44%). These results show that when liver surgery is performed after prolonged Al exposure, it leads to impairment of Fe homeostasis. We underline the importance of the exposure to Al, a potentially toxic element, in the study of risk assessment in patients who must be submitted to major liver resection.

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