Abstract— During acute hepatic coma following two‐stage hepatic devascularization in the rat, profound changes occurred in plasma and whole‐brain amino acids and putative neurotransmitters. Brain ammonia, glutamine and GABA were increased, aspartate was decreased, while glutamate was unchanged. An increase in brain tryptophan was accompanied by a similar increase in plasma unbound tryptophan but decreased plasma total tryptophan. These changes occurred in the presence of high plasma levels of the other neutral amino acids, including the branched chain amino acids. Plasma insulin was unchanged while glucagon levels rose, resulting in a decreased insulin to glucagon ratio. These results suggest that while plasma unbound tryptophan may influence brain tryptophan levels, altered plasma concentrations of neutral amino acids which compete with tryptophan for transport into the brain do not contribute to the increase in brain tryptophan observed during acute hepatic coma.
Journal of Neurochemistry – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 1979
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