Received: February 4, 2019; Revised: May 17, 2019; Accepted: June 3, 2019
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Hydrogen sulfide is well-known to exhibit anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective activities, and also has protective effects in the liver. This study aimed to examine the protective effect of hydrogen sulfide in rats with hepatic encephalopathy, which was induced by mild bile duct ligation. In this rat model, bile ducts were mildly ligated for 26 days. Rats were treated for the final 5 days with sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS). NaHS (25 μmol/kg), 0.5% sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, or silymarin (100 mg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally once per day for 5 consecutive days. Mild bile duct ligation caused hepatotoxicity and inflammation in rats. Intraperitoneal NaHS administration reduced levels of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase, which are indicators of liver disease, compared to levels in the control mild bile duct ligation group. Levels of ammonia, a major causative factor of hepatic encephalopathy, were also significantly decreased. Malondialdehyde, myeloperoxidase, catalase, and tumor necrosis factor-α levels were measured to confirm antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects. N-Methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors with neurotoxic activity were assessed for subunit NMDA receptor subtype 2B. Based on these data, NaHS is suggested to exhibit hepatoprotective effects and guard against neurotoxicity through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions.