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Effects of Caffeine Treatment on Hepatopulmonary Syndrome in Biliary Cirrhotic Rats

Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei 112, Taiwan
Faculty of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei 112, Taiwan
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei 112, Taiwan
Chang Gung University College of Medicine and Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan
Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Cheng Hsin General Hospital, Taipei 112, Taiwan
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(7), 1566;
Received: 2 March 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 25 March 2019 / Published: 28 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pathophysiology of Fibrosis and Scarring)
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Hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a lethal complication of cirrhosis characterized by hypoxia and overt intrapulmonary shunting. In this study, we investigated the effect of caffeine in rats with common bile duct ligation (CBDL)-induced liver cirrhosis and HPS. CBDL rats were randomly allocated to receive caffeine or vehicle for 14 days. On the 28th day after CBDL, mortality rate, hemodynamics, liver, and renal biochemistry parameters and arterial blood gas analysis were evaluated. Lung and liver were dissected for the evaluation of inflammation, angiogenesis and protein expressions. In another series with parallel groups, the intrapulmonary shunting was determined. Caffeine significantly reduced portal pressure (caffeine vs. control: 10.0 ± 3.7 vs. 17.0 ± 8.1 mmHg, p < 0.05) in CBDL rats. The mortality rate, mean arterial pressure, biochemistry data and hypoxia were similar between caffeine-treated and control groups. Caffeine alleviated liver fibrosis and intrahepatic angiogenesis but intrapulmonary inflammation and angiogenesis were not ameliorated. The hepatic VEGF/Rho-A protein expressions were down-regulated but the pulmonary inflammation- and angiogenesis-related protein expressions were not significantly altered by caffeine. Caffeine did not reduce the intrapulmonary shunting, either. Caffeine has been shown to significantly improve liver fibrosis, intrahepatic angiogenesis and portal hypertension in cirrhotic rats, however, it does not ameliorate HPS. View Full-Text
Keywords: caffeine; hepatopulmonary syndrome; liver cirrhosis caffeine; hepatopulmonary syndrome; liver cirrhosis

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Chang, C.-C.; Chuang, C.-L.; Tsai, M.-H.; Hsin, I.-F.; Hsu, S.-J.; Huang, H.-C.; Lee, F.-Y.; Lee, S.-D. Effects of Caffeine Treatment on Hepatopulmonary Syndrome in Biliary Cirrhotic Rats. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 1566.

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