Background/aims: Cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) is overexpressed in sinusoidal endothelial cells (SEC) of cirrhotic rat livers, and through an enhanced production of vasoconstrictor prostanoids contributes to increase intrahepatic resistance. Our study was aimed at investigating the role of enhanced AA bioavailability modulating the hepatic vascular tone of cirrhotic livers and identifying which prostanoid is involved.
Methods: SEC isolated from control and cirrhotic rat livers were incubated with AA, methoxamine or vehicle. TXA(2) was quantified. In addition, portal perfusion pressure (PP) response curves to AA were performed in rat livers pre-incubated with vehicle, SC-560 (COX-1 inhibitor), Furegrelate (inhibitor of TXA(2) synthesis) and SQ-29548 (PGH(2)/TXA(2) receptor blocker). cPLA2 activity was determined in control and cirrhotic livers.
Results: AA and methoxamine incubation promoted a significant increase in TXA(2) release by Cirrhotic-SEC, but not in Control-SEC. AA produced a dose-dependent increase in the PP, associated with increased TXA(2) release. These responses were significantly greater in cirrhotic livers. COX-1 inhibition and PGH(2)/TXA(2) receptor blockade, but not TXA(2) synthase inhibition, markedly attenuated the PP response to AA of cirrhotic livers. Additionally, cirrhotic livers exhibited significantly increased cPLA2 activity.
Conclusions: An enhanced production of vasoconstrictor prostanoids, probably PGH(2), by SEC contributes to increase vascular tone of cirrhotic livers.