• hepatic injury;
  • ischemia and reperfusion;
  • splenic artery ligation;
  • transplantation

Abstract: Background/Aims: Hepatic injury caused by ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) is a key clinical problem associated with liver transplantation and liver surgery. The spleen is involved in hepatic I/R injury. In this study, we examined the effects of splenic artery ligation on hepatic I/R injury.

Methods: Splenic artery ligation was performed 7 days, 3 days, or just before the hepatic ischemia. Hepatic ischemia was conducted by occluding the blood vessels to the median and left lateral lobes with an atraumatic vascular clamp. Hepatic I/R injury was induced by 45 min of ischemia followed by 120 min of reperfusion.

Results: When splenic artery ligation was performed at 3 days or just before the ischemia, serum aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase activities, as markers for hepatic injury, decreased as compared with the rats with I/R alone. Splenic artery ligation also reduced the myeloperoxidase activity, an enzyme present in neutrophils, and the expression of interleukin-6 mRNA, a proinflammatory cytokine, in rat livers with I/R. Efficacy of splenic artery ligation on hepatic I/R injury was also confirmed by histology. On the other hand, when splenic artery ligation was conducted 7 days before the ischemia, efficacy of splenic artery ligation was disappeared.

Conclusions: Splenic artery ligation ameliorates hepatic I/R injury in rats. These results strongly suggest the clinical usefulness of this surgical procedure to protect the liver against I/R injury.