Bile Duct Ligation in Mice: Induction of Inflammatory Liver Injury and Fibrosis by Obstructive Cholestasis

J Vis Exp. 2015 Feb 10;(96):52438. doi: 10.3791/52438.

Abstract

In most vertebrates, the liver produces bile that is necessary to emulsify absorbed fats and enable the digestion of lipids in the small intestine as well as to excrete bilirubin and other metabolic products. In the liver, the experimental obstruction of the extrahepatic biliary system initiates a complex cascade of pathological events that leads to cholestasis and inflammation resulting in a strong fibrotic reaction originating from the periportal fields. Therefore, surgical ligation of the common bile duct has become the most commonly used model to induce obstructive cholestatic injury in rodents and to study the molecular and cellular events that underlie these pathophysiological mechanisms induced by inappropriate bile flow. In recent years, different surgical techniques have been described that either allow reconnection or reanastomosis after bile duct ligation (BDL), e.g., partial BDL, or other microsurgical methods for specific research questions. However, the most frequently used model is the complete obstruction of the common bile duct that induces a strong fibrotic response after 21 to 28 days. The mortality rate can be high due to infectious complications or technical inaccuracies. Here we provide a detailed surgical procedure for the BDL model in mice that induce a highly reproducible fibrotic response in accordance to the 3R rule for animal welfare postulated by Russel and Burch in 1959.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cholestasis / etiology*
  • Cholestasis / pathology
  • Common Bile Duct / surgery*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Hepatitis / etiology*
  • Hepatitis / pathology
  • Ligation / methods
  • Liver Cirrhosis / etiology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL