Chronic Thalidomide Administration Enhances Vascular Responsiveness to Vasopressin in Portal-systemic Collaterals of Bile Duct-ligated Rats

Ching Chih Chang, Sun Sang Wang, Hui Chun Huang, Fa Yauh Lee*, Han Chieh Lin, Jing Yi Lee, Yi Chou Chen, Shou Dong Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Arginine vasopressin (AVP) controls gastroesophageal variceal bleeding, partly due to its vasoconstrictive effect on portal-systemic collaterals. It has been shown that chronic thalidomide treatment decreases portal pressure, attenuates hyperdynamic circulation and inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in partially portal vein-ligated rats. This study investigated the effects of chronic thalidomide treatment on portal-systemic collateral vascular responsiveness to AVP in common bile duct-ligated (CBDL) cirrhotic rats. Methods: In the first series, CBDL-induced cirrhotic rats received thalidomide (50 mg/kg/day orally) or distilled water (control) from the 35th to 42nd day after ligation. On the 43rd day after ligation, the body weight, mean arterial pressure, portal pressure, and heart rate were measured. An in situ collateral vascular perfusion model was used to obtain the cumulative concentration-response curves of collateral vessels to AVP (10-10 to 3 × 10-7 M). Plasma levels of VEGF and TNF-α were measured, and expressions of VEGF and TNF-α mRNA in the left adrenal veins were also determined. In the second series, the cumulative concentration-response curves of collateral vessels to AVP in CBDL rats with or without thalidomide (10-5 M) preincubation in the perfusate were obtained. Results: The thalidomide and control groups were not significantly different in terms of heart rate, mean arterial pressure and portal pressure (p > 0.05). The collateral vascular perfusion pressure change to AVP was significantly enhanced at 10-8 M after thalidomide treatment (p = 0.041). Compared with the control group, thalidomide-treated rats had significantly lower plasma VEGF levels (p < 0.001), accompanied by an insignificant reduction in plasma TNF-α levels (p > 0.05). The expressions of VEGF and TNF-α mRNA in the left adrenal veins of thalidomide-treated CBDL rats were not significantly changed compared with those of the control group. In addition, thalidomide did not significantly elicit changes in vascular responsiveness to AVP in collateral vessels of CBDL rats when it was added into the perfusate. Conclusion: In cirrhotic rats, chronic thalidomide treatment improves the portal-systemic collateral vascular responsiveness to AVP, which was partly related to VEGF inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-242
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Chinese Medical Association
Volume72
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2009

Keywords

  • portal-systemic collaterals
  • thalidomide
  • tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α
  • vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
  • vasopressin

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