Bile-duct ligation is a surgery that destroys the liver, equivalent to a biliary cirrhosis. Bile, which is normally excreted by the bile duct, is forced back towards to the liver. The bile's toxicity leads to cirrhosis, thus causing death or a dysfonction of the hepatic cells.
Animals develop jaundice, hepatic fibrosis, portal hypertension and ascite, a variable portosystemic derivation, hyperammonemia and a dysfunction of the immune system. These rats develop motor and memory difficulties, measured by behavorial tests.