Inducing and characterizing liver regeneration in mice: Reliable models, essential "readouts" and critical perspectives

Curr Protoc Mouse Biol. 2013 Oct 18;3(3):141-170. doi: 10.1002/9780470942390.mo130087.


Elucidating the molecular circuitry that regulates regenerative responses in mammals has recently attracted considerable attention because of its emerging impact on modern bioengineering, tissue replacement technologies, and organ transplantation. The liver is one of the few organs of the adult body that exhibitsa prominent regenerative capacity in response to toxic injury, viral infection, or surgical resection. Over the years, mechanistic insights into the liver's regenerative potential have been provided by rodent models of chemical liver injury or surgical resection that faithfully recapitulate hallmarks of human pathophysiology and trigger robust hepatocyte proliferation leading to organ restoration. The advent of mouse transgenics has undeniably catalyzed the wider application of such models for researching liver pathobiology. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the most reliable and widely applied murine models of liver regeneration and also discusses helpful hints, considerations, and limitations related to the use of these models in liver regeneration studies.

Keywords: carbon tetrachloride; hepatocytes; hepatotoxicity; liver; partial hepatectomy; proliferation; regeneration.