Ischemia–reperfusion (IR) injury of the liver may cause various types of damage to
hepatic tissues. It can affect the prognosis of patients and the success of an operation.
Dexmedetomidine is a selective α2 receptor agonist. We investigated whether dexmedetomidine provides protection against
IR-induced liver injury in rats.
Forty rats were divided equally into four groups. In group 1, the liver was manipulated
after the laparotomy, and no occlusion of the vessels of the liver was performed.
In group 2, once the abdomen was opened, 60 min of ischemia and 60 min of reperfusion
were applied according to the segmental hepatic ischemia model. In group 3, 10 μg/kg
of dexmedetomidine was injected into the peritoneal cavity 30 min before ischemia.
In group 4, 100 μg/kg of dexmedetomidine was injected into the peritoneal cavity 30
min before ischemia. Further procedures in groups 3 and 4 were the same as those of
group 2. After the experiment was completed, the rats were killed. Liver tissues were
removed and stored until biochemical and histologic assessments were performed.
The malondialdehyde level in group 2 was higher than that of groups 1, 3, and 4 (P = 0.001, P = 0.000, and P = 0.000, respectively). Superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione levels in
group 2 were lower than those in group 1 (P = 0.001, P = 0.027, and P = 0.014, respectively). Superoxide dismutase and catalase levels in group 4 were
higher than those in group 2 (P = 0.002 and P = 0.000, respectively). GSH levels in groups 3 and 4 were higher than those in group
2 (P = 0.049 and P = 0.006, respectively). A lower glutathione peroxidase level was detected in groups
2 and 3 than that in group 1 (P = 000). Group 4 demonstrated an increase in glutathione peroxidase levels compared
with group 3 (P = 0.014). The histologic injury scores in groups 2–4 were higher than those in group
1 (P = 0.003, P = 0.002, and P = 0.001, respectively). However, the histologic injury scores were lower in groups
3 and 4 than those in group 2 (P = 0.003 and P = 0.002, respectively).
This study showed that dexmedetomidine may protect the liver against IR injury in