, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 510-512

Liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy in rats with defective bilirubin conjugation or biliary excretion

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The role of conjugated bilirubin in liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy (PH) was studied in Gunn rats, in transport-mutant (TR) rats, and in rats with extrahepatic biliary obstruction. Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and thymidine kinase (TK) activities in liver homogenates and immunohistochemistry ofin vivo bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation in hepatic DNA were followed as regeneration parameters at 24 and 48 hr after PH. The results relative to TK activity and BrdU incorporation were consistent with significantly delayed hepatic DNA synthesis in Gunn rats in comparison to control Wistar and TR rats. This delay in DNA synthesis was not reflected in the hepatic ODC activity. After one week of complete common bile duct obstruction (CBO), an increased TK activity and BrdU incorporation was seen. PH following CBO resulted in a further increase in ODC activity and BrdU incorporation. TK activity did not change, however. These data relative to the regulation of hepatic DNA synthesis after PH in Gunn rats and in rats with extrahepatic biliary obstruction suggest a possible stimulatory role for conjugated bilirubin in hepatic regeneration; however, the normal hepatic DNA synthesis in TR rats studied before PH and the subnormal DNA synthesis seen 24hr after PH in TR rats and in rats with CBO indicate that conjugated bilirubin does not stimulate hepatic DNA synthesis.

Presented at the Proceedings of the International Meeting on Normal and Neoplastic Growth in Hepatology, Bari, Italy, June 1989.