Oral Supplementation with Branched-Chain Amino Acids Improves Survival Rate of Rats with Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Liver Cirrhosis
- Cite this article as:
- Kajiwara, K., Okuno, M., Kobayashi, T. et al. Dig Dis Sci (1998) 43: 1572. doi:10.1023/A:1018831302578
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We investigated whether supplementation withbranched-chain amino acids (BCAA) improves survival ofrats with carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-inducedcirrhosis. Liver cirrhosis was induced in 40 maleSprague-Dawley rats by administering CCl4 for 15weeks. Twenty rats each were then assigned to thecontrol and BCAA group and fed a casein diet or aBCAA-supplemented casein diet, respectively, for anadditional 17 weeks with repeated injections of CCl4. Nosignificant difference occurred in either mean energy ornitrogen intake or in body or liver weight between thetwo groups. BCAA-supplementation significantly preserved plasma albumin concentrations (P < 0.05) andinhibited significantly the occurrence of ascites andhyperammonemia (P < 0.05). The survival rate wassignificantly higher in the BCAA group (P = 0.03), while no significant difference was found inliver histology between the groups. These resultssuggest that BCAA improved survival of rats withCCl4-induced cirrhosis by preventinghypoalbuminemia and hyperammonemia without directly reducing hepatic necrosis andfibrosis.