Mitochondrial glutathione content determines the rate of liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy in eu- and hypothyroid rats

Ignazio Grattagliano, Bernhard H. Lauterburg, Piero Portincasa, Maria Lucia Caruso, Gianluigi Vendemiale, Anna Maria Valentini, Vincenzo O. Palmieri, Giuseppe Palasciano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aims: Mitochondrial glutathione has been postulated to affect mitochondrial function and liver regeneration. Methods: Mitochondrial respiration, total and oxidized glutathione, and liver regeneration were assessed after partial hepatectomy in glutathione-depleted and in hypothyroid rats with/without supplementation of glutathione ester. Results: Mitochondrial, cytosolic and circulating glutathione levels were lower in glutathione-depleted rats. Hepatectomy was followed by significant changes of intra- and extracellular glutathione and of mitochondrial respiration. In glutathione-deficient rats, the recovery of mitochondrial function and the liver regeneration were delayed. Administration of glutathione ester partially corrected the fall of cytosolic and mitochondrial glutathione following hepatectomy, reduced mitochondrial oxidative damage, and accelerated the restoration of mitochondrial respiration and the rate of liver regeneration. In hypothyroid rats, intracellular glutathione homeostasis and mitochondrial respiration were impaired already at baseline; slower regeneration and mitochondrial oxidative alterations were observed after hepatectomy. Glutathione ester ameliorated the regenerative response in hypothyroid rats by providing higher concentrations of cytosolic and mitochondrial glutathione. Conclusions: Glutathione depletion and hypothyroidism affect the mitochondrial function during liver regeneration. Liver regenerates more slowly in glutathione-depleted and in hypothyroid rats. The earlier restoration of mitochondrial function and the higher rate of proliferation in glutathione ester treated rats suggest that the maintenance of intracellular glutathione facilitates liver regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-579
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2003


  • Buthionine sulfoximine
  • Glutathione deficiency
  • Glutathione ester
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Liver regeneration
  • Mitochondria
  • Partial hepatectomy
  • Proliferating cell nuclear antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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