Role of the Cellular Hydration State for Cellular Function: Physiological and Pathophysiological Aspects

  • Dieter Häussinger
  • Wolfgang Gerok
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 368)


In recent years it became clear that the regulation of cell function involves another important controlling parameter, i.e. the cellular hydration state. Cellular hydration can change within minutes under the influence of hormones, nutrient supply and oxidative stress and such a short-term modulation of cell volume within a narrow range acts per se as a potent signal which modifies cellular metabolism and gene expression. The interaction between cellular hydration and cell function was most extensively studied in liver cells, but evidence is increasing that modulation of cell function in response to alterations of cellular hydration is a general mechanism. Disturbances of cellular hydration as a pathogenetic factor for the development of hyperammonemia and hepatic encephalopathy have not yet been considered, but very recent evidence suggests interesting aspects for the understanding of hyperammonemic states. Thus, the article will briefly review the current state of knowledge regarding the interaction between hepatocellular volume and liver function and then discuss some pathophysiological conditions in which disturbances of cellular volume could be of pathogenetic relevance.


Cell Volume Hepatic Encephalopathy Cell Shrinkage Cell Volume Regulation Amino Acid Transport System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dieter Häussinger
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Gerok
    • 1
  1. 1.Medizinische UniversitätsklinikFreiburgGermany

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