Aim: To determine whether Saiko-keishi-to (TJ-10), a Japanese herbal medicine, could protect liver injury induced by gut ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), and to investigate the role of NO.
Methods: Male Wistar rats were exposed to 30-min gut ischemia followed by 60 min of reperfusion. Intravital microscopy was used to monitor leukocyte recruitment. Plasma tumor necrosis factor (TNF) levels and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activities were measured. TJ-10 1 g/(kg.d) was intragastrically administered to rats for 7 d. A NO synthase inhibitor was administered.
Results: In control rats, gut I/R elicited increases in the number of stationary leukocytes, and plasma TNF levels and ALT activities were mitigated by pretreatment with TJ-10. Pretreatment with the NO synthase inhibitor diminished the protective effects of TJ-10 on leukostasis in the liver, and the increase of plasma TNF levels and ALT activities. Pretreatment with TJ-10 increased plasma nitrite/nitrate levels.
Conclusion: TJ-10 attenuates the gut I/R-induced hepatic microvascular dysfunction and sequential hepatocellular injury via enhancement of NO production.