Aims: This study was intended to establish in mice: 1) a safety limit for the extent of hepatectomy and 2) the extent of hepatectomy invariably causing fatal hepatic failure, to facilitate gene expression analysis.
Materials and methods: In 70%-hepatectomy, the left lateral and median lobes were removed, and in 90%-hepatectomy, all lobes except the caudate were resected. One-week survival rates, serum concentrations of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and total bilirubin were measured. Histological examinations were performed using hematoxylin and eosin staining, and immunohistochemical tests were done with antibody against Ki-67 antigen.
Results: All of the 70%-hepatectomized mice were alive at 1 week, but the 90%-hepatectomized mice all died within 24 h after hepatectomy. Serum aminotransferase and total bilirubin levels were significantly higher in the 90%-hepatectomized mice than in the 70%-hepatectomized mice. Liver histology revealed more prominent vacuolar degeneration in the former. Ki67-positive hepatocytes appeared and proliferated immediately after 70%-hepatectomy, but few were observed in the 70%-hepatectomized mice.
Conclusion: We established 90%-hepatectomy as the safety limit for murine hepatectomy and as a model for liver regeneration, and 90%-hepatectomy as a "fatal hepatic failure level."