Insulin reverses major portal hypertension-related derangements in rats with liver cirrhosis and diabetes

I. Fang Hsin, Hui Chun Huang, Ching Chih Chang, Shao Jung Hsu*, Fa Yauh Lee, Teh Ia Huo, Chiao Lin Chuang, Ming Chih Hou, Shou Dong Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Liver cirrhosis is accompanied by increased intrahepatic resistance and angiogenesis-related portosystemic collaterals formation. Diabetic patients suffer from abnormal vasoresponsiveness and angiogenesis that can be ameliorated by glucose control. However, the relevant presentation is not clear in those with cirrhosis and diabetes, in whom insulin is the treatment of choice. Liver cirrhosis was induced in Sprague-Dawley rats with common bile duct ligation (BDL) and sham rats were used as controls. Streptozotocin 60 mg/kg (STZ, i.p., to induce diabetes) or vehicle was injected. The rats received BDL and STZ injections were injected with insulin or vehicle. On the 29th day after the procedure, the groups were surveyed for (1) systemic and portal hemodynamics; (2) mesenteric vascular density; (3) severity of portosystemic collaterals; (4) hepatic resistance using in situ liver perfusion; (5) histology survey of mesentery and liver; and (6) mesentery angiogenesisand liver fibrogenesis-related protein expressions. Compared with the cirrhotic rats, the cirrhotic diabetic rats had lower body weight, cardiac output, superior mesenteric arterial (SMA) resistance and portal venous (PV) resistance, and higher SMA and PV flow, which were mostly reversed by insulin. The cirrhotic diabetic rats also had increased mesenteric vascular density, and enhanced pERK, pAkt, VEGF, VEGFR2 protein expressions that were reversed by insulin. Insulin decreased the degree of shunting in the diabetic cirrhotic rats. Hepatic perfusion pressure and severity of liver fibrosis were not significantly influenced by diabetes and insulin treatment in the cirrhotic rats. In conclusion, diabetes aggravated hemodynamic derangements, mesenteric angiogenesis and collaterals in the cirrhotic rats, which were mostly ameliorated by insulin. Further clinical investigations are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2391-2405
Number of pages15
JournalClinical Science
Issue number22
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2018


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