With the development of hepatic surgery, especially liver transplantation, the pathophysiological processes of hepatic ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury have gained special attention. Controlling I/R injury has become one of the most important factors for successful liver transplantation. This study aimed to investigate the effects of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) in rats with hepatic I/R injury and promote the recognition of I/R injury in the liver.
Thirty-two Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 2 groups. Rats in the sham-operated (SO) group served as controls. Rats in the hepatic ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) group underwent reperfusion after 30 minutes of liver ischemia. Rats were sacrificed at 1, 6 and 12 hours. The expression of TNF-alpha mRNA in the liver was measured by RT-PCR. Histological changes in the liver were assessed. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in serum were measured.
The expression of TNF-alpha mRNA in the SO group was decreased compared with that in the I/R group (P<0.05). TNF-alpha mRNA expression progressively increased in the I/R group. The serum levels of ALT and AST in the I/R group were higher than those in the SO group (P<0.01). The histological changes were in accord with hepatic I/R injury.
ALT and AST in serum are closely related to hepatic I/R injury and inflammatory reaction. TNF-alpha production in the liver triggers hepatic I/R injury through a cascade.