Astrocyte swelling in liver failure: role of glutamine and benzodiazepines.

M. D. Norenberg, A. S. Bender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


We examined the effect of methionine sulfoximine (MSO) and peripheral benzodiazepine (BZD) ligands on ammonia-induced swelling of primary astrocyte cultures. Swelling was completely abolished by co-treatment with MSO, an inhibitor of glutamine synthetase. We also established that many of the effects caused by ammonia, including the reduction in K+ uptake, increase in Cl- uptake and reduction in myo-inositol uptake were diminished by co-treatment with MSO. Agonists of the peripheral-type BZD receptor aggravated ammonia-induced swelling, whereas a peripheral BZD receptor blocker, PK 11195, diminished the extent of swelling. Our findings implicate glutamine and the peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptor in the pathogenesis of the edema associated with fulminant hepatic failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-27
Number of pages4
JournalActa neurochirurgica. Supplementum
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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