Selected publications

Cerebrovascular reactivity and cerebral perfusion of rats with acute liver failure: role of L-glutamine and asymmetric dimethylarginine in L-arginine-induced response.

J Neurochem. 2018 Dec;147(5):692-704. doi: 10.1111/jnc.14578. Epub 2018 Nov 6.

 Czarnecka A 1, Aleksandrowicz M 2, Jasiński K 3, Jaźwiec R 4, Kalita K 3, Hilgier W 1, Zielińska M 1.

Author information:

1   Department of Neurotoxicology, Mossakowski Medical Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.

2   Department of Neurosurgery, Mossakowski Medical Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.

3   Department of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Institute of Nuclear Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, Poland.

4    Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.


Cerebral blood flow (CBF) is impaired in acute liver failure (ALF), however, the complexity of the underlying mechanisms has often led to inconclusive interpretations. Regulation of CBF depends at least partially on variations in the local brain L-arginine concentration and/or its metabolic rate. In ALF, other factors, like an increased concentration of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), an endogenous nitric oxide synthase inhibitor and elevated level of L-glutamine, may contribute to CBF alteration. This study demonstrated strong differences in the reactivity of the middle cerebral arteries and their response to extravascular L-arginine application between vessels isolated from rats with thioacetamide (TAA)-induced ALF and control animals. Our results also showed the decrease in the cerebral perfusion in TAA rats measured by arterial spin labeling perfusion magnetic resonance. Subsequently, we aimed to investigate the importance of balance between the concentration of ADMA and L-arginine in the CBF regulation. In vivo, intraperitoneal L-arginine administration in TAA rats corrected: (i) decrease in cerebral perfusion, (ii) decrease in brain extracellular L-arginine/ADMA ratio and (iii) increase in brain L-glutamine concentration. Our study implicates that impaired vascular tone of cerebral arteries is most likely associated with exposure to high ADMA and L-glutamine levels resulting in limited availability of L-arginine and might be responsible for reduced cerebral perfusion observed in ALF.


Acute liver failure; MRI-ASL; asymmetric dimethylarginine; cerebral blood flow; isolated middle cerebral artery