Ammonia is known to increase the secretion of Β-N-acetylhexosaminidase (Hex) to the extracellular medium in cultured human fibroblasts and Hep G2 cells. We examined 35 patients with liver cirrhosis and the results revealed a significant increase for the plasma activities of total Hex and its isoenzymes Hex A and Hex B (p < 0.001). The partial correlations, with other biochemical markers of liver injury constant, between plasma ammonia concentration and the activity (r = 0.658) and the proportion in percentage of the Hex B isoenzyme (r = 0.692) were statistically significant (p < 0.001). The increased concentration of ammonia could explain, at least partially, an increased secretion of Hex B isoforms to the plasma in patients with liver disease.
Copyright © 2000 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG