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Hepatic encephalopathy is a complex neuropsychiatric syndrome present in patients with chronic or acute liver disease. We review here some recent advances in the study, in animal models, of the mechanisms involved in the impairment in intellectual function in hepatic encephalopathy. These studies show that the function of the glutamate-nitric oxide-cGMP(More)
The signal transduction pathways involved in NMDA receptor modulation by other receptors remain unclear. cAMP could be involved in this modulation. The aim of this work was to analyse the contribution of cAMP to NMDA receptor modulation in cerebellar neurones in culture. Forskolin increases cAMP and results in increased intracellular calcium and cGMP that(More)
Patients with hepatic encephalopathy (HE) may present different neurological alterations including impaired cognitive function and altered motor activity and coordination. HE may lead to coma and death. Many of these neurological alterations are the consequence of altered neurotransmission. Hyperammonemia is a main contributor to the alterations in(More)
The aim of this work was to assess whether ammonia concentrations similar to the increase found in the brain of hyperammonemic rats (100 microM), impair N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-mediated signal transduction. We first measured glutamate neurotoxicity, which in these neurons is mediated by activation of NMDA receptors, as an initial parameter(More)
Acute intoxication with large doses of ammonia leads to rapid death. The main mechanism for ammonia elimination in brain is its reaction with glutamate to form glutamine. This reaction is catalyzed by glutamine synthetase and consumes ATP. In the course of studies on the molecular mechanism of acute ammonia toxicity, we have found that glutamine synthetase(More)
Intellectual function is impaired in patients with hyperammonemia and hepatic encephalopathy. Chronic hyperammonemia with or without liver failure impairs the glutamate-nitric oxide-cGMP pathway function in brain in vivo and reduces extracellular cGMP in brain as well as the ability of rats to learn a Y maze conditional discrimination task. We hypothesized(More)
Patients with hepatic encephalopathy show altered motor function, psychomotor slowing, and hypokinesia, which are reproduced in rats with portacaval shunts (PCS). Increased extracellular glutamate in substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr) is responsible for hypokinesia in PCS rats. The mechanisms by which liver failure leads to increased extracellular(More)
Patients with liver diseases (e.g. cirrhosis) may present hepatic encephalopathy (HE), an alteration in cerebral function which is a consequence of previous failure of liver function. Patients with minimal or clinical HE present different levels of cognitive impairment. Hyperammonemia is considered a main contributor to the neurological alterations in HE.(More)
This mini-review focus on our studies on alterations in glutamatergic neurotransmission and their role in neurological alterations in rat models of chronic hyperammonemia and hepatic encephalopathy (HE). Hyperammonemia impairs the glutamate-nitric oxide (NO)-cGMP pathway in cerebellum, which is responsible for reduced learning ability. We studied the(More)
One of the neurological complications in hepatic encephalopathy is the impairment of motor coordination and function. Clinical signs of basal ganglia, cortico-spinal and cerebellar dysfunction have been commonly detected in these patients. We are studying the molecular bases of the alterations in motor coordination and function in hepatic encephalopathy.(More)