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Probiotics combined with rifaximin influence the neurometabolic changes in a rat model of type C HE

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Flatt Emmanuelle, McLin Valérie A., Braissant Olivier, Pierzchala Katarzyna, Mastromarino Paola, Mitrea Stefanita-Octavian, Sessa Dario, Gruetter Rolf, Cudalbu Cristina,
Project Translational Non-Invasive Metabolic Studies towards Novel Treatments of Chronic Hepatic Encephalopathy in Developing Brain, from 3D Organotypic Brain Cell Cultures to the In vivo Rat and Human Brain
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Scientific Reports
Volume (Issue) 11(1)
Page(s) 17988 - 17988
Title of proceedings Scientific Reports
DOI 10.1038/s41598-021-97018-8

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Abstract Type C hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a neuropsychiatric disease caused by chronic liver disease. Management of type C HE remains an important challenge because treatment options are limited. Both the antibiotic rifaximin and probiotics have been reported to reduce the symptoms of HE, but longitudinal studies assessing their effects on brain metabolism are lacking and the molecular mechanisms underpinning their effects are not fully understood. Therefore, we evaluated in detail the effects of these different treatments on the neurometabolic changes associated with type C HE using a multimodal approach including ultra-high field in vivo 1 H MRS. We analyzed longitudinally the effect of rifaximin alone or in combination with the probiotic Vivomixx on the brain metabolic profile in the hippocampus and cerebellum of bile duct ligated (BDL) rats, an established model of type C HE. Overall, while rifaximin alone appeared to induce no significant effect on the neurometabolic profile of BDL rats, its association with the probiotic resulted in more attenuated neurometabolic alterations in BDL rats followed longitudinally (i.e. a smaller increase in Gln and milder decrease in Glu and Cr levels). Given that both rifaximin and some probiotics are used in the treatment of HE, the implications of these findings may be clinically relevant.