Cirrhosis promotes increases of both manganese and glutamine in brain. Manganese is a modulator and glutamine is the product of glutamine synthetase. This work studies the relationship between manganese and glutamine synthetase in a model of cirrhosis in the rat. We administered manganese (1 g/L) in the drinking water of sham-operated and bile-duct obstructed rats. We evaluated the manganese and glutamine accumulation and the glutamine synthetase activity in frontal cortex, striatum, and pallidum after 2, 4, and 6 weeks of biliary obstruction or sham surgery. Cirrhotic rats receiving manganese increased their brain content of metal about 400%-600% after 4 weeks of treatment (P < .05) and also remarkably accumulated glutamine through time in the three regions studied (P < .05 at week 6). Interestingly, bile-duct obstructed rats treated with manganese showed no effect on glutamine synthetase activity. Results from this study suggest that manganese induces increases of brain glutamine independently of its synthesis.