Reproduction in mice: liver enlargement in mice during pregnancy and lactation

Life Sci. 1987 Jan 5;40(1):11-8. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(87)90246-3.


The mechanism of liver enlargement during pregnancy was investigated in the C57BL/6J strain of mice. The C57BL/6J female exhibited a two-fold increase in liver mass during pregnancy. After the completion of lactation the size of the liver was reduced. Liver growth was accomplished with no increase in hepatocyte number and without an increase in total liver DNA content. During the early stages of liver expansion in pregnant females, DNA synthesis could be turned on by partial hepatectomy. However, during the last few days of gestation DNA synthesis and liver growth in response to partial hepatectomy were inhibited. During lactation this inhibition of growth was maintained, but inhibition of DNA synthesis was partially lifted. DNA synthesis and liver growth in response to partial hepatectomy were normal after the termination of lactation. Because of the limited scope of this investigation the full implications of these findings are not yet certain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Female
  • Hypertrophy / physiopathology
  • Lactation / physiology*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Organ Size
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Animal / physiology*


  • DNA