Tyrosine kinase inhibition ameliorates the hyperdynamic state and decreases nitric oxide production in cirrhotic rats with portal hypertension and ascites

J Clin Invest. 1997 Aug 1;100(3):664-70. doi: 10.1172/JCI119578.


Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF) causes vasodilatation and a hyperdynamic state by activating nitric oxide (NO) synthesis. Tyrphostins, specific inhibitors of protein tyrosine kinase (PTK), block the signaling events induced by TNF and NO production. A hyperdynamic circulatory syndrome (HCS) is often observed in portal hypertension (PHT). TNF and NO seem to mediate these hemodynamic changes. The aim of this work was to study the effect of PTK inhibition on the systemic and portal hemodynamics, TNF and NO production, in cirrhotic rats with portal hypertension. Rats with liver cirrhosis induced by chronic inhalation of carbon tetrachloride were used. Animals were treated daily with tyrphostin AG 126 (alpha-cyano-(3-hydroxy-4-nitro) cinnamonitrile) or placebo for 5 d. Mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), and portal pressure (PP) were measured by indwelling catheters. Cardiac output (CI) and stroke volume (SV) were estimated by thermodilution, systemic vascular resistance (SVR) was calculated (MAP/CI), and portal systemic shunting (PSS) was quantitated using radioactive microspheres. Serum and mesenteric lymph node (MLN) TNF levels were measured using an immunoassay kit, and serum NOx was determined photometrically by its oxidation products. The AG 126-treated group showed a statistically significant increase in MAP and SVR, and decreases in CI, SV, MLN TNF, and serum NO oxidation products nitrite and nitrate (NOx) in comparison with the placebo-treated rats. No significant differences were noticed in HR, PP, PSS, or serum TNF. Significant correlations were observed between MAP and NOx, MAP and MLN TNF, PSS and NOx, and serum TNF and serum NOx. The HCS observed in PHT seems to be mediated, at least in part, by TNF and NO by the activation of PTKs and their signaling pathways. PTK activity inhibition ameliorates the hyperdynamic abnormalities that characterize animals with cirrhosis and PHT.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ascites / metabolism
  • Ascites / physiopathology*
  • Benzylidene Compounds / administration & dosage*
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Hypertension, Portal / metabolism
  • Hypertension, Portal / physiopathology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Nitriles / administration & dosage*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*
  • Tyrphostins*


  • Benzylidene Compounds
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Nitriles
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Tyrphostins
  • AG 127
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases