AIM: To investigate the effect of meloxicam on the gut-liver axis after cirrhotic liver resection.
METHODS: Forty-four male Wistar rats were assigned to three groups: (1) control group (CG); (2) bile duct ligation with meloxicam treatment (BDL + M); and (3) bile duct ligation without meloxicam treatment (BDL). Secondary biliary liver cirrhosis was induced via ligature of the bile duct in the BDL + M and BDL groups. After 2 wk, the animals underwent a 50% hepatectomy. In the BDL + M group 15 min prior to the hepatectomy, one single dose of meloxicam was administered. Parameters measured included: microcirculation of the liver and small bowel; portal venous flow (PVF); gastrointestinal (GI) transit; alanine aminotransferase (ALT); malondialdehyde; interleukin 6 (IL-6), transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) and hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α) levels; mRNA expression of cyclooxigenase-2 (COX-2), IL-6 and TGF-β1; liver and small bowel histology; immunohistochemical evaluation of hepatocyte and enterocyte proliferation with Ki-67 and COX-2 liver expression.
RESULTS: Proliferative activity of hepatocytes after liver resection, liver flow and PVF were significantly higher in CG vs BDL + M and CG vs BDL group (P < 0.05), whereas one single dose of meloxicam ameliorated liver flow and proliferative activity of hepatocytes in BDL + M vs BDL group. COX-2 liver expression at 24 h observation time (OT), IL-6 concentration and mRNA IL-6 expression in the liver especially at 3 h OT, were significantly higher in BDL group when compared with the BDL + M and CG groups (P < 0.01, P < 0.001, P < 0.01, respectively). Liver and small bowel histology, according to a semi quantitative scoring system, showed better integrity in BDL + M and CG as compared to BDL group. ALT release and HIF-1α levels at 1 h OT were significantly higher in BDL + M compared to CG and BDL group (P < 0.001 and P < 0.01, respectively). Moreover, ALT release levels at 3 and 24 h OT were significantly higher in BDL group compared to CG, P < 0.01. GI transit, enterocyte proliferative activity and number of goblet cells were in favor of meloxicam treatment vs BDL group (P < 0.05, P < 0.001, P < 0.01, respectively). Additionally, villus length were higher in BDL + M as compared to BDL group.
CONCLUSION: One single dose of meloxicam administered after cirrhotic liver resection was able to cause better function and integrity of the remaining liver and small bowel.