Scientific publications

Effect of ursodeoxycholic acid on methionine adenosyltransferase activity and hepatic glutathione metabolism in rats

Rodríguez-Ortigosa CM, Cincu RN, Sanz S, Ruiz F, Quiroga J [SP], Prieto J.
Division of Hepatology and Gene Therapy, University of Navarra, Pamplona, 31080, Spain

Magazine: Gut

Date: May 1, 2002

Hepatology

BACKGROUND AND AIMS
Both bile salts and glutathione participate in the generation of canalicular bile flow. In this work, we have investigated the effect of different bile salts on hepatic glutathione metabolism.

METHODS
Using the isolated and perfused rat liver, we studied hepatic glutathione content, and metabolism and catabolism of this compound in livers perfused with taurocholate, ursodeoxycholate, or deoxycholate.

RESULTS
We found that in livers perfused with ursodeoxycholate, levels of glutathione and the activity of methionine adenosyltransferase (an enzyme involved in glutathione biosynthesis) were significantly higher than in livers perfused with other bile salts. In ursodeoxycholate perfused livers, methionine adenosyltransferase showed a predominant tetrameric conformation which is the isoform with highest activity at physiological concentrations of substrate. In contrast, the dimeric form prevailed in livers perfused with taurocholate or deoxycholate. The hepatic activities of gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase and gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase, enzymes involved, respectively, in biosynthetic and catabolic pathways of glutathione, were not modified by bile salts.

CONCLUSIONS
Ursodeoxycholate specifically enhanced methionine adenosyltransferase activity and hepatic glutathione levels. As glutathione is a defensive substance against oxidative cell damage, our observations provide an additional explanation for the known hepatoprotective effects of ursodeoxycholate.

CITATION  Gut. 2002 May;50(5):701-6

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