gms | German Medical Science

125. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Chirurgie

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Chirurgie

22. - 25.04.2008, Berlin

Glycine protects from chemotherapy-induced hepatotoxicity

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author S. Mikalauskas - Chirurgische Klinik, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg
  • L. Mikalauskiene - Chirurgische Klinik, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg
  • A. Nickkholgh - Chirurgische Klinik, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg
  • K. Hoffmann - Chirurgische Klinik, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg
  • A. Mehrabi - Chirurgische Klinik, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg
  • T. Longerich - Pathologisches Institut, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg
  • K. Strupas - Centre of Abdominal Surgery, Vilnius University Hospital Santariskiu Klinikos, Vilnius, Lithuania
  • M.W. Büchler - Chirurgische Klinik, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg
  • P. Schemmer - Chirurgische Klinik, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Chirurgie. 125. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Chirurgie. Berlin, 22.-25.04.2008. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2008. Doc08dgch9389

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: April 16, 2008

© 2008 Mikalauskas et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: Hepatotoxic side effects of chemotherapy for colorectal liver metastases increase perioperative morbidity and mortality after liver resection. Glycine has been shown to possess hepatoprotective effects in various animal models. Thus, this study was designed to assess its effect on liver after chemotherapy.

Material and methods: Sprague-Dawley rats (200 – 220 g) received a 5 % glycine or a control diet for 5 days. Subsequently, chemotherapy (FOLFIRI - irinotecan, folinic acid, and fluoruracil) was administered at standard doses. Transaminases, histology and in vivo microscopy were used to index hepatic injury, to monitor microperfusion, and activation of Kupffer cells. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by t test were used as appropriate. Results are presented as mean±SEM.

Results: Glycine resulted in significantly lower values of both AST and ALT at different time points within 24 hours after the end of chemotherapeutic regimens to 25-50 % of control values (p<0.05). Microvesicular steatosis was reduced from 18.5±3.4 % in controls to 9.5±1.8 % in glycine group (p<0.05). Furthermore, in vivo microscopy documented a 50 % reduction in phagocytosis of latex beads as well as an 60-80 % reduction in leukocyte adherence in central and midzonal subacinar zones with glycine (p<0.05).

Conclusion: This study shows for the first time that glycine reduces chemotherapy-induced liver damage. The underlying mechanisms most likely include inactivation of Kupffer cells, reduced steatotic changes, and improvement in hepatic microcirculation.