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Arch Histol Cytol. 1990 Mar;53(1):71-80.

Changes in density and distribution of gap junctions after partial hepatectomy: immunohistochemical and morphometric studies.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Japan.


The disappearance and reappearance of rat liver gap junctions with respect to the time elapsed after partial hepatectomy and the location in the liver acinar zones were analysed immunohistochemically and morphometrically using an affinity purified antibody against the rat liver gap junction protein. The specificity of antibody was assessed by comparing the immunofluorescent staining patterns of rat organs with those obtained with an antibody raised against a synthetic peptide having the partial primary structure of the putative cytoplasmic domain of the gap junction protein. At 20 h after partial hepatectomy, the population density of gap junctions decreased rapidly in the periportal area of the liver acinus. The disappearance of gap junctions progressed from the periportal area toward the central vein. The mean density of gap junctions reached the minimum, about 10% relative to the zero time value, at 48 h after the operation. The reappearance of gap junctions became marked after 72 h. No periportal-centrilobular gradient in the distribution of gap junctions was discernible after 96 h. The time course of the change in the density of gap junctions was found to take a much longer period than those previously reported. The possible effect of the liver microcirculation on the alteration of gap junctions during the liver regeneration is suggested.

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