Mesoporous silica SBA-15 decreases hyperammonemia and affects the gene expression of mitogen-activated protein kinases in the prefrontal cortex of rats with bile duct ligation

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Biological Science, Faculty of Science, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran

2 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran



Objective(s): We aim to examine possible ammonia lowering effects of mesoporous silica SBA-15 in rats after the common bile duct ligation (BDL). We also evaluate the effect of SBA-15 treatments during 28 days of BDL on locomotion and rearing behavior, as well as on the gene expression of Jnk3 and p38alpha (p38α) mitogen-activated protein kinases in the prefrontal cortex (PFC).
Materials and Methods: SBA-15 was prepared with the hydrothermal method from the surfactant P123 and tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS), and calcined at 550 ºC. Then, the product was characterized by FT-IR, XRD, SEM, and BJH-BET techniques. Male Wistar rats in sham control and a group with BDL received saline but another group with BDL received SBA-15 during 28 days of BDL. We examined all groups of rats weekly for locomotion and rearing behavior; then on day 28, we sacrificed all rats, collected the blood sample, and finally dissected the PFC from the whole brain.
Results: The SBA-15 treatments had no effect on locomotion but improved rearing behavior on days 7 and 14 of BDL. Biochemical analysis indicated that the SBA-15 treatments in rats with BDL significantly decreased hyperammonemia. The results also revealed that the SBA-15 treatments in rats with BDL significantly restored the decreased Jnk3 gene expression, and increased the p38α gene expression in the PFC.
Conclusion: We conclude that SBA-15 can be used as an ammonia lowering agent in hepatic encephalopathy; however, its improving effects on locomotion and neuroinflammation, as well as signaling molecules in the brain need more investigations.


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