Impaired liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy in db/db mice

Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2003 Mar;54(4):281-6. doi: 10.1078/0940-2993-00265.


Fatty liver is the most common hepatic disorder in humans and supposed to be a cause of poor prognosis after liver transplantation and hepatic resection which could be resulted from impaired liver regeneration. This study was carried out to analyze the process of liver regeneration in db/db mice which show severe steatosis because of abnormal leptin receptor. We performed 70% partial hepatectomy (PH) on db/db mice and normal +m/+m mice, and then sacrificed the animals 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 10 days later. The liver samples were weighed and examined histologically or immunohistochemically. As a result, the liver mass restitution was significantly inhibited in db/db mice compared with +m/+m mice. The BrdU labelling index peaked at 2 days after PH in both strains, although the value was lower in db/db mice. After that, interestingly, it decreased to the control level at 5 days in +m/+m mice while the recovery was delayed in db/db mice. Similar sequence was also observed in the PCNA labelling index. In addition, the peak time of the mitosis index was 2 days and 5 days after PH in +m/+m mice and in db/db mice, respectively. Thus, although not significant, the proliferative response of hepatocytes to PH occurred somewhat more transient and sharply in +m/+m mice while it lasted somewhat longer in db/db mice. This suggests that db/db mice may be valuable as one of the animal models for the investigation of the effects of steatosis on the liver regeneration.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fatty Liver / pathology
  • Hepatectomy*
  • Hepatocytes / cytology
  • Hepatocytes / pathology
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • Liver / growth & development*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Regeneration / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Mitosis / physiology
  • Organ Size
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen


  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen