Hypertaurinemia in Bile Duct-Ligated Rats After Surgery: The Effect of Gut Endotoxin Restriction on Organ Fluxes and Oxidative Status

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Surgery in obstructive jaundice is associated with complications related to gut-derived endotoxemia. The organs involved in these complications, including liver, kidneys, and gut, are important in the metabolism of taurine, which is implicated in bile acid conjugation and has antioxidative effects. Taurine organ metabolism and liver oxidative status were studied in bile duct-ligated rats (BDL) after laparotomy. Oral cholestyramine treatment inhibits gut-derived endotoxemia and was used to evaluate the role of endotoxin. In BDL rats, postoperative plasma taurine levels were higher compared with SHAM (p < .0001). Cholestyramine treatment reduced plasma taurine in BDL rats (p < .005), but levels remained higher compared with SHAM groups (p < .0001). In contrast to a liver uptake of taurine in SHAM rats, a release from livers of BDL rats was found (p < .005). Cholestyramine treatment in BDL rats resulted in a liver uptake of taurine (p < .05 vs BDL). A higher uptake of taurine by the kidneys was found in both BDL animals after surgery and SHAM controls (p < .005); however, cholestyramine had no effect. A release of taurine from the gut was found in the SHAM groups, which was reversed in both BDL groups (p < .01). Cholestyramine lowered the elevated levels of hepatic enzymes in BDL rats (ALT and AST: p < .05). Total liver glutathione levels were lower in BDL rats (p < .0001) compared with SHAM groups, and cholestyramine significantly attenuated this decrease (p < .01). Liver malondialdehyde levels were higher in BDL rats compared with SHAM (p < .01), whereas cholestyramine completely prevented this increase in lipid peroxidation (p < .0001). Hypertaurinemia in BDL rats after surgery is most likely explained by reduced bile acid conjugation and hepatocellular leakage. Cholestyramine treatment reduced hepatocellular damage by inhibiting gut-derived endotoxemia, and reversed the release of taurine from the jaundiced liver into an uptake and consequently lowered plasma taurine levels. This uptake may contribute to the improved antioxidant status in cholestyramine-treated BDL rats. (Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition30:186–193, 2006)

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