, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 518-526

Acute portal hypertension reflecting shear stress as a trigger of liver regeneration following partial hepatectomy

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The concept of injury in liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy (PHx), and the reason hepatocytes that have not been directly injured regenerate, remain unclear. It is known that shear stress resulting from blood flow plays an important role in the mechanism of remodeling blood vessels, and portal pressure reflects shear stress. This study was conducted to determine whether acute portal hypertension (APH) can become a trigger of liver regeneration as shear stress following PHx in a rat model. Portal pressures became elevated immediately after 70% and 90% PHx, peaking on postoperative day (POD) 3, and thereafter decreasing in proportion to the diminution of liver regeneration. The portal pressures after 90% PHx were significantly higher than those after 70% PHx even on POD 7, while those of the portocaval (PC) shunt groups decreased following PC shunting both with and without 70% PHx. The liver/body weight (LW/BW) ratio also decreased in the PC shunt both with and even without 70% PHx. The gradient expressions of class I antigen on sinusoidal endothelial cells (SEC) were found only in the periportal area, which has the highest portal pressure in the healthy rat liver. However, after hepatectomy these expressions were detected from the periportal area to the central venous area. These results suggest that APH as shear stress following PHx may not only become a trigger of hepatocyte regeneration, but also of SEC regeneration, and that surplus APH induces liver dysfunction.