Bile duct ligation in neonatal rats: is it a valid experimental model for biliary atresia studies?

Pediatr Transplant. 2009 Feb;13(1):81-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3046.2008.00947.x. Epub 2008 Apr 28.


BA is the most important disease requiring liver transplantation in children. Common BDL in rats is a classic experimental model to study biliary obstruction. The response of the neonatal animal to BDL has yet to be completely understood and few reports have focused on the behavioral differences of the liver between neonatal and adult animals. Ninety newborn Wistar rats aged six days, weighing 8.0-13.9 g, and 90 adult Wistar rats weighing 199.7-357.0 g, were submitted to BDL. After surgery, they were randomly divided and killed on the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th day post-BDL. Hepatic biopsies were obtained and the following were measured: (i) semiquantification of the bile ductule proliferation and inflammatory infiltrate by HE stain, (ii) quantification of portal and periportal fibrosis with the Sirius-red stain. Although the initial response of ductule proliferation and inflammatory infiltrate were less intense in the newborn animal, the portal and periportal fibrosis were higher when compared with adult animals (p < 0.0491). These findings may contribute to the understanding of the pathophysiology of BA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Bile Ducts / surgery
  • Biliary Atresia / physiopathology*
  • Common Bile Duct
  • Dilatation, Pathologic
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Female
  • Fibrosis
  • Ligation
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar