Role of endothelin in endotoxin-induced hepatic microvascular dysfunction in rats fed chronically with ethanol

Yoshinori Horie, Shinzo Kato, Eiji Ohki, Hironao Tamai, Hiromasa Ishii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: We examined the role of endothelin in endotoxin-induced hepatic microcirculatory disturbance in pair-fed rats given a liquid diet containing ethanol or isocaloric control. Methods and Results: One lobe of the liver was observed with the use of an intravital microscope. Erythrocytes (RBCs) labeled with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) were injected, and the flow velocity of the FITC-RBCs in the sinusoids was measured with an off-line velocimeter. The flow velocity decreased 30 min after 1 mg/kg of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was administered to the controls, and portal pressure (PP) was increased at 60 min. In ethanol-fed rats, however, both the flow velocity and PP increased in the early phase (at 10 min), and in the late phase, flow velocity decreased and PP increased more than in the controls. The LPS-induced decrease in flow velocity was blunted, when BQ-123, an antagonist of endothelin receptor subtype A, was infused into ethanol-fed rats, and BQ-123 also attenuated the change in PP. The plasma endothelin levels in both systemic and portal blood of the ethanol-fed rats were higher than in the controls. Conclusions: These results suggest that endothelin plays a role in the LPS-induced hepatic microcirculatory disturbance, especially in alcohol-fed animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)916-922
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Jan 1


  • Endothelin receptor subtype A antagonist
  • Erythrocyte velocity
  • Fluorescein isothiocyanate
  • Intravital microscope
  • Portal pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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