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D-Galactosamine Intoxication in Experimental Animals: Is it Only an Experimental Model of Acute Liver Failure?

Marek Saracyn, Robert Zdanowski, Marek Brytan, Grzegorz Kade, Zbigniew Nowak, Janusz Patera, Przemysław Dyrla, Jerzy Gil, Zofia Wańkowicz

Department of Internal Diseases, Nephrology and Dialysis, Military Institute of Medicine, Warsaw, Poland

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:1469-1477

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.893291

Available online:

Published: 2015-05-22

BACKGROUND: Short-term administration of Galactosamine to experimental animals causes liver damage and acute liver failure (ALF), as well as acute renal failure in some cases. The aim of our study was to describe kidney disorders that developed in the course of galactosamine-induced liver failure.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 2 groups: a study group administered galactosamine intraperitoneally and a control group administered saline.
RESULTS: All the animals in the study group developed liver damage and failure within 48 h, with significant increase of alanine (p<0.001), aspartate aminotransferases (p<0.0001), bilirubin (p<0.004), and ammonia (p<0.005) and decrease of albumin (p<0.001) concentrations. Acute renal failure was observed in all test animals, with a significant increase in creatinine (p<0.001) and urea (p<0.001) concentrations and a decrease in creatinine clearance (p<0.0012). Moreover, osmotic clearance (p<0.001), daily natriuresis (p<0.003), and fractional sodium excretion (p<0.016) decreased significantly in this group of animals. The ratio of urine osmolality to serum osmolality did not change. Histopathology of the liver revealed massive necrosis of hepatocytes, whereas renal histopathology showed no changes.
CONCLUSIONS: Acute renal failure that developed in the course of galactosamine-induced ALF was of a functional nature, with the kidneys retaining the ability to concentrate urine and retain sodium, and there were no renal changes in the histopathological examination. It seems that the experimental model of ALF induced by galactosamine can be viewed as a model of hepatorenal syndrome that occurs in the course of acute damage and liver failure.

Keywords: Alanine Transaminase - blood, Acute Kidney Injury - pathology, Albumins - metabolism, Ammonia - blood, Animals, Aspartate Aminotransferases - blood, Bilirubin - blood, Creatinine - metabolism, Disease Models, Animal, Galactosamine - toxicity, Hepatocytes - pathology, Injections, Intraperitoneal, Liver Failure - pathology, Osmolar Concentration, Proteinuria - pathology, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Specific Gravity, Statistics, Nonparametric, Urea - blood