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Neurology Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 254683, 8 pages
Research Article

Comparative Neuroprotective Effects of Dexamethasone and Minocycline during Hepatic Encephalopathy

1Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Giza 11562, Egypt
2Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Giza 11562, Egypt
3Department of Anesthesia, Pain Management and Perioperative Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, 5850 College Street, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 2Y9

Received 7 October 2013; Revised 8 December 2013; Accepted 26 December 2013; Published 17 February 2014

Academic Editor: Di Lazzaro Vincenzo

Copyright © 2014 Maha Gamal et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. Encephalopathy and brain edema are serious complications of acute liver injury and may lead to rapid death of patients. The present study was designed to investigate the role of the inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress in the cytotoxic brain oedema and the neuroprotective effects of both minocycline and dexamethasone. Methods. 48 male albino rats were divided into 4 groups: control group, acute liver injury (ALI) group, minocycline pretreated ALI group, and dexamethasone pretreated ALI group. 24 hours after acute liver injury serum ammonia, liver enzymes, brain levels of heme oxygenase-1 gene, iNOS gene expression, nitrite/nitrate, and cytokines were measured. In addition, the grades of encephalopathy and brain water content were assessed. Results. ALI was associated with significant increases in all measured inflammatory mediators, oxidative stress, iNOS gene expression, and nitrite/nitrate. Both minocycline and dexamethasone significantly modulated the inflammatory changes and the oxidative/nitrosative stress associated with ALI. However, only minocycline but not dexamethasone significantly reduced the cytotoxic brain oedema. Conclusion. Both minocycline and dexamethasone could modulate inflammatory and oxidative changes observed in brain after ALI and could be novel preventative therapy for hepatic encephalopathy episodes.