Background & aims: Cysteinyl-leukotrienes (Cys-LTs) increase intrahepatic vascular resistance in normal rat livers. CCl4 cirrhotic rat livers have increased Cys-LT production and 5-lipoxygenase messenger RNA (mRNA) expression. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of 5-lipoxygenase-derived eicosanoids regulating intrahepatic vascular tone in control and CCl4-induced cirrhotic rat livers.
Methods: In different groups of portally perfused control and cirrhotic rat livers, the following were analyzed: a portal perfusion pressure (PP) dose-response curve to LTD4; the effects on PP caused by either vehicle, the selective 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor AA-861, the selective Cys-LT1 receptor antagonist MK-571, or the dual Cys-LT1 and Cys-LT2 receptor antagonist BAY u9773; and immunohistochemistry for 5-lipoxygenase in liver sections of cirrhotic and control livers.
Results: Cirrhotic livers have a hyperesponse to LTD4. In control livers, AA-861 and MK-571 produced a moderate and similar reduction in PP. In cirrhotic livers, 5-lipoxygenase inhibition produced a marked and significantly greater reduction in PP than in controls. However, no effect on PP was observed after MK-571 or BAY u9773. 5-Lipoxygenase-positive cells were markedly increased in cirrhotic livers.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that 5-lipoxygenase-derived eicosanoids may contribute to the increased intrahepatic vascular resistance of cirrhotic rat livers and therefore the pathogenesis of portal hypertension.