Control of acute, chronic, and constitutive hyperammonemia by wild-type and genetically engineered Lactobacillus plantarum in rodents

Authors

  • Charles Nicaise,

    1. Laboratory of Experimental Gastroenterology, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
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  • Deborah Prozzi,

    1. Genetics Unit, Institut des Sciences de la Vie, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
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  • Eric Viaene,

    1. Genetics Unit, Institut des Sciences de la Vie, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
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  • Christophe Moreno,

    1. Laboratory of Experimental Gastroenterology, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
    2. Division of Gastroenterology, Hôpital Erasme, Brussels, Belgium
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  • Thierry Gustot,

    1. Laboratory of Experimental Gastroenterology, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
    2. Division of Gastroenterology, Hôpital Erasme, Brussels, Belgium
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    • P. Hols is Research Associate and T. Gustot is Postdoctoral Researcher at Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique.

  • Eric Quertinmont,

    1. Laboratory of Experimental Gastroenterology, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
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  • Pieter Demetter,

    1. Department of Pathology, Hôpital Erasme, Brussels, Belgium
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  • Valérie Suain,

    1. Laboratory of Histology, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
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  • Philippe Goffin,

    1. Genetics Unit, Institut des Sciences de la Vie, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
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  • Jacques Devière,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Experimental Gastroenterology, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
    2. Division of Gastroenterology, Hôpital Erasme, Brussels, Belgium
    • Laboratory of Experimental Gastroenterology, Campus Eraste, 808 Route de Lennik, B-1070 Brussels, Belgium
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    • fax: 0032 2 5554697.

  • Pascal Hols

    1. Genetics Unit, Institut des Sciences de la Vie, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
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    • P. Hols is Research Associate and T. Gustot is Postdoctoral Researcher at Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique.


  • Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.

Abstract

Hyperammonemia is a common complication of acute and chronic liver diseases. Often accompanied with side effects, therapeutic interventions such as antibiotics or lactulose are generally targeted to decrease the intestinal production and absorption of ammonia. In this study, we aimed to modulate hyperammonemia in three rodent models by administration of wild-type Lactobacillus plantarum, a genetically engineered ammonia hyperconsuming strain, and a strain deficient for the ammonia transporter. Wild-type and metabolically engineered L. plantarum strains were administered in ornithine transcarbamoylase-deficient Sparse-fur mice, a model of constitutive hyperammonemia, in a carbon tetrachloride rat model of chronic liver insufficiency and in a thioacetamide-induced acute liver failure mice model. Constitutive hyperammonemia in Sparse-fur mice and hyperammonemia in a rat model of chronic hepatic insufficiency were efficiently decreased by Lactobacillus administration. In a murine thioacetamide-induced model of acute liver failure, administration of probiotics significantly increased survival and decreased blood and fecal ammonia. The ammonia hyperconsuming strain exhibited a beneficial effect at a lower dose than its wild-type counterpart. Improved survival in the acute liver failure mice model was associated with lower blood ammonia levels but also with a decrease of astrocyte swelling in the brain cortex. Modulation of ammonia was abolished after administration of the strain deficient in the ammonium transporter. Intestinal pH was clearly lowered for all strains and no changes in gut flora were observed. Conclusion: Hyperammonemia in constitutive model or after acute or chronic induced liver failure can be controlled by the administration of L. plantarum with a significant effect on survival. The mechanism involved in this ammonia decrease implicates direct ammonia consumption in the gut. (HEPATOLOGY 2008.)

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