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J Hepatol. 1997 Mar;26(3):659-68.

Hepatic expression of regeneration marker genes following partial hepatectomy in the rat. Influence of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in hypocalcemia.

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  • 1Département de Pharmacologie, Faculté de Médecine, Université de Montréal, Canada.



Vitamin D (D) depletion is a common feature of chronic liver diseases. In past years, disturbances in calcium metabolism involving inadequate D and parathyroid hormone status have been reported to significantly impair the hepatic regeneration process following partial hepatectomy in the rat. The purpose of this study was to investigate how hypocalcemia and D deficiency affect specific cell markers of hepatic compensatory growth.


Steady-state mRNA levels of gene markers of the regeneration process were investigated following 2/3 partial hepatectomy. The response of hypocalcemic D-depleted rats was compared to that of animals whose calcium status had been normalized by repletion with the active D hormone 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3).


The transcript for the major hepatic mitogen HGF increased in both groups after partial liver resection but the increase was significantly lower as well as delayed in livers obtained from calcium deficient rats in the prereplicative phase of the regeneration process. TGF alpha mRNA levels were also found to be significantly lower in calcium deficient rats at all time-points following partial hepatectomy, while the relative behavior of the tandem TGF alpha-EGFR indicated an early dominant effect in normocalcemic 1,25(OH)2D3-repleted animals. HGF-c-met mRNA levels also indicated that the 1,25(OH)2D3-repleted animals reacted more promptly to the regeneration stimuli. Indeed, while relative (1,25(OH)2D3/D-Ca- ratio) maximum mRNA levels were observed 12 h following liver resection in 1,25(OH)2D3-treated animals, relative peak levels were only apparent 24 h post-surgery in hypocalcemic rats. Maximum cyclin D1 (a marker of the G1 phase of the cell cycle) mRNA occurred between 8-18 h after partial hepatectomy in 1,25(OH)2D3-repleted animals to return to base-line value thereafter, but in hypocalcemic rats the transcript levels remained significantly below 1,25(OH)2D3-repleted animals during the prereplicative period with increases above initial values between 12-24 h post-surgery. Both cyclin A (an S phase marker) transcripts (1.8 and 2.9 kb) were influenced by the regeneration process. The transcripts significantly and sharply increased in hypocalcemia between 30-36 h following partial hepatectomy to decrease thereafter, while the increase was observed between 24-30 h, and at 48 h (1.8 kb) in 1,25(OH)2D3-repleted animals. Liver weight recovery was also found to be decreased in D-depleted rats over the 48 h period of observation.


Our data further confirm the presence of an impaired regeneration process in hypocalcemia of D deficiency which seems to be associated with gene markers indicating an inefficient transit across the G1 phase of the cell cycle.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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