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Hepatology. 2002 Aug;36(2):345-53.

Regenerative activity and liver function following partial hepatectomy in the rat using (31)P-MR spectroscopy.

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Liver Diseases Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.


The aim of the present study was to determine whether alterations in hepatic energy expenditure following partial hepatectomy (PHx), as documented by in vivo hepatic (31)P-MRS, correlate with standard parameters of hepatic regeneration and/or liver function. In addition, we sought to determine whether changes in hepatic energy levels are proportional to the extent of hepatic resection. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats (4-7 per group) underwent a 40%, 70%, or 90% PHx or sham surgeries. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) examinations were performed on each animal 24 or 48 hours thereafter. After MRS examinations, [(3)H]thymidine incorporation into hepatic DNA, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) protein expression, and serum bilirubin determinations were performed on each rat. Twenty-four hours following surgery, rats that had undergone 70% PHx had unchanged adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels but significantly lower ATP/inorganic phosphate (Pi) ratios (P <.05), whereas, at 48 hours post-PHx, both ATP and ATP/Pi levels were lower than in sham- and nonoperated controls (P <.05). Hepatic regeneration and liver dysfunction mirrored these changes; correlations existed between ATP/Pi ratios and [(3)H]thymidine incorporation (r = -0.61, P <.005), PCNA protein expression (r = -0.62, P <.005), and serum bilirubin (r = -0.49, P <.05). For rats that had undergone graded resections, depleted energy levels 48 hours post-PHx were proportional to the extent of resection, degree of enhanced regenerative activity, and liver dysfunction. In conclusion, (31)P-MRS-generated ATP/Pi index is a noninvasive, robust determination that correlates with standard parameters of hepatic regeneration and function.

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