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Gastroenterology. 1990 Sep;99(3):785-92.

Adaptative changes of metabolic zonation during the development of cirrhosis in growing rats.

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  • 1Department of Child Health, King's College Hospital, London, England.


To evaluate changes in liver metabolic zonation during development of juvenile cirrhosis, zonal activities of succinate dehydrogenase, glutamate dehydrogenase, glucose-6-phosphatase, and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) dehydrogenase were measured by quantitative cytochemistry in the liver of developing rats intoxicated with carbon tetrachloride and phenobarbitone. During treatment, activities were most decreased in perivenular zones and subsequently at the periphery of the cirrhotic nodules for succinate dehydrogenase and glucose-6-phosphatase, whereas glutamate dehydrogenase and NADPH dehydrogenase were less affected. In the periportal zones, enzyme activities decreased less. After stopping intoxication, the rats remained cirrhotic, but enzyme activities returned to control perivenular levels at the periphery of the cirrhotic nodule and to control periportal levels at its center. It is concluded that a metabolic zonation persists in carbontetrachloride/phenobarbitone-induced juvenile cirrhosis and that enzyme activities can recover despite persisting cirrhosis. In this model, afferent vessels seem to be located at the center of the cirrhotic nodules, and efferent vessels, at their periphery. A different metabolic zonation may exist in other human and animal liver cirrhosis that could be related to the site of initial liver damage.

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