Liver resection modulates hepatic chemokine levels in breast cancer

Surgery. 2023 Aug;174(2):277-282. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2023.04.054. Epub 2023 May 30.


Background: Resection of metastatic hepatic tumors of breast cancer may result in the acceleration of hepatic and extrahepatic tumor progression due to the microenvironmental circulation of chemokines. This study aimed to investigate the effect of hepatectomy on a large panel of chemokines, liver regeneration, and myeloid cell levels in an experimental breast cancer model.

Methods: The 4T1 breast cancer cells were inoculated, and 30% to 40% hepatectomy was performed. Mice without tumors or only laparotomy (no hepatectomy) served as control groups. After 14 days (short-term) and 21 days (long-term), tissue samples were obtained from the regions near and distant from the resection site. Chemokine levels were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay arrays. Myeloid infiltration in the liver and the primary tumor and hepatic regeneration status were also histopathologically evaluated.

Results: The levels of pro-tumorigenic chemokines such as CCL2, CCL3, CCL4, and CCL5 were elevated in hepatectomized tumor-bearing animals. This observation was consistent with the presence of hepatic metastases. Liver regeneration and myeloid cell infiltration showed significant differences between the tumor-bearing hepatectomized groups followed in the short and long term.

Conclusion: Our study showed elevation and variations in chemokines after hepatectomy, with a prominent increase in pro-tumorigenic chemokines. These results can be associated with the acceleration of metastasis after liver resection. However, further prospective studies are required to better define the impact of resection, which may transform the liver into a favorable site for metastasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemokines
  • Hepatectomy*
  • Liver Neoplasms* / secondary
  • Liver Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Liver Regeneration
  • Mice


  • Chemokines