Cholestasis without cirrhosis alters regulatory liver gene expression and inhibits hepatic regeneration

Thomas Tracy, P. V. Bailey, M. E. Goerke, C. Sotelo-Avila, T. R. Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Partial hepatectomy (PH) initiates cellular signals for regeneration. Sequential expression of nuclear and cytosolic protooncogenes accompanies the restoration of normal liver function and architecture. Although cirrhosis is known to inhibit liver regeneration, the effects of noncirrhotic cholestasis on hepatocellular proliferation, differentiation, and regulatory gene expression are unknown. To examine this, 25 male Fisher rats underwent common bile duct ligation and division. A 47% ± 5% PH was performed 10 days after common bile duct ligation and division when histologic analysis revealed cholestasis without cirrhosis. Despite early elevations of total hepatic DNA and RNA values, cholestatic livers demonstrated a significant threefold suppression of expected hepatocyte mitotic indexes 48 and 72 hours after PH, compared with livers after PH alone. Weight restoration in cholestatic livers was 11% ± 5.2% compared with 40% ± 4.3% in control livers (±SEM; p < 0.001) 5 days after PH. Analysis of regenerating liver messenger RNA with complementary DNA probes revealed an abnormal, sustained elevation of K-ras expression in cholestatic livers through all time points. Cholestasis blunted but did not obliterate normal sequential elevations in H-ras found in control livers. The expression of c-myc was inhibited threefold with cholestasis 72 hours after PH. These results are the first indication that cholestasis alone inhibits hepatocyte proliferation and the expression of c-myc that normally precedes the first wave of mitosis. This implies that cholestasis without cirrhosis may alter programmed liver gene expression, inhibiting normal hepatic regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-183
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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