Aims/Methods: The effect of moderate and severe reduction of the functional liver mass on gene expression for liver functions was studied in rats following 70% and 90% hepatectomy. At intervals up to 24 h after operation rats were killed and RNA was extracted from the remaining liver tissue. By slot-blot hybridization mRNA steady-state levels were determined for enzymes involved in metabolic 'liver-specific' functions, acute phase proteins, 'house-keeping', and growth-related proteins. Results were expressed as per cent of levels in a pool from fed control rats of the same gender and age. Results: Among 'liver-specific' metabolic functions only expression of gluconeogenesis, represented by phosphoenol carboxykinase mRNA, was augmented initially, followed by a fall to very low values after 90% hepatectomy. The drug metabolizing system represented by CYP2B1/2 mRNA was reduced to half of the control values. Expression of urea synthesis, as reflected by carbamoylphosphate synthetase mRNA, showed a gradual decline after 90% hepatectomy, in contrast to rising levels of argininosuccinate lyase and arginase mRNA, possibly serving polyamine rather than urea synthesis. The mRNA level of the acute phase protein al-acid glycoprotein showed a smaller and later rise in 90% than in 70% hepatectomized rats, whereas that of alpha 2-macroglobulin only increased after 90% hepatectomy like the 'housekeeping' beta-actin mRNA. A rise in histone 3, which coincides with mitosis, was only seen after 70% hepatectomy, indicating that after 90% hepatectomy the response to growth-stimulating factors is weak or delayed, supported by a delayed rise in cyclin d and low levels of growth hormone receptor mRNA. Conclusions: It is concluded that attempts by gene regulation to adapt liver functions to a reduction of the liver mass depend on the amount of liver tissue lost. When the loss is nearly fatal, compensation for normal metabolic functions may be abandoned for efforts to regenerate, which, however, may be delayed or after all be too weak.
Expression of messenger RNA for liver functions following 70% and 90% hepatectomy / Tygstrup, N; Jensen, Sa; Krog, B; Pietrangelo, Antonello; Shafritz, Da. - In: JOURNAL OF HEPATOLOGY. - ISSN 0168-8278. - STAMPA. - 25(1):(1996), pp. 72-78.