Background: Secondary brain edema is a serious complication of hepatic encephalopathy (HE). Recently, it has been reported that proinflammatory cytokines are involved in the pathogenesis of brain edema during HE.
Objectives: Observe the dynamic expressions of brain and plasma proinflammatory cytokines in encephalopathy rats, and evaluate the relationship between proinflammatory cytokines and brain edema.
Methods: Acute HE rats were induced by intraperitoneal injection of thioacetamide (TAA) in 24 hours intervals for two consecutive days. Then, clinical symptom and stages of hepatic encephalopathy, motor activity counts, index of liver function, and brain water content were observed. The dynamic expressions of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α in plasma and brain tissues were measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: Typical clinical performances of hepatic encephalopathy were occurred in all TAA-administrated rats. The TAA rats showed lower motor activity counts and higher the index of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, total bilirubin and ammonia than those in control rats. Brain water content was significantly enhanced in TAA rats compared with the control. The expressions of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF- α in plasma and brain significantly increased in TAA rats. In addition, the expressions of cerebral proinflammatory cytokines were positively correlated with brain water content but negatively correlated with motor activity counts.Conclusion: Inflammation was involved in the pathogenesis of brain edema during TAA-induced HE.