An improved technique for isolated perfusion of rat livers and an evaluation of perfusates

J Surg Res. 1992 Aug;53(2):158-65. doi: 10.1016/0022-4804(92)90028-x.


We have modified the apparatus for isolated rat liver perfusion (IPRL) in order to be able to perform two perfusions simultaneously. In addition, we studied the quality and stability of livers by comparison of five different perfusates: Blood (Group A), Original Krebs Henseleit buffer (Group B), Krebs buffer with glucose (Group C) or bovine serum albumin (BSA) added, (Group D). In a last group (E) albumin, glucose, and taurocholic acid were added to Krebs. After 180 min of perfusion, livers perfused with solutions including 2% albumin (Group D, E) had a significantly higher release of hepatocellular and endothelial cell (purine nucleoside phosphorylase) enzymes and lower bile production as compared to Groups A, B, and C (P less than 0.0001). Increasing levels of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP), a reflection of damage to the microvascular endothelium preceded the increases in hepatocellular enzymes. Histologically, damages of sinusoidal endothelial cells and hepatocytes are appreciated moderate to severe in Groups D and E, slight to mild in Groups A and B, and not significant in Group C. These results suggest that BSA may have toxic effects to the perfused rat liver. These data also confirm that the IPRL modified for simultaneous perfusion of two livers is efficient, and that with this technique the rat liver can be optimally perfused for up to 3 hr with oxygenated Krebs Henseleit buffer without additives (Group B) and without blood. These two improvements should allow those performing studies with perfused rat livers to obtain data in a more efficient, accurate, and inexpensive fashion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile / physiology
  • Hemodynamics
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Liver* / enzymology
  • Liver* / pathology
  • Perfusion / instrumentation*
  • Perfusion / methods
  • Purine-Nucleoside Phosphorylase / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew


  • Purine-Nucleoside Phosphorylase