Role of hepatic vitamin A and lipocyte distribution in experimental hepatic fibrosis

Liver. 1993 Oct;13(5):282-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0676.1993.tb00646.x.


Lipocytes are the major site of hepatic vitamin A storage, and they have been demonstrated to lose their vitamin A content in the process of hepatic fibrosis. To investigate the relationship between hepatic vitamin A content and the degree of hepatic fibrosis, we measured levels of retinyl palmitate and retinol in the CCl4-induced fibrotic liver using high-performance liquid chromatography. We estimated hepatic collagen content using a spectrophotometric analysis with sirius red, and also by measuring hydroxyproline levels. Lipocytes were detected by an immunoperoxidase method with anti-desmin antibody, and were counted morphometrically through a Texture Analyzing System. A significant negative correlation was observed between the level of retinyl palmitate and collagen content (r = -0.64) as well as the hydroxyproline level (r = -0.69) in the CCl4-induced fibrotic liver. In the process of fibrosis, hepatic retinol levels were elevated in association with a decrease in retinyl palmitate. In particular in the early stage of fibrosis, lipocytes increased remarkably in number in fibrotic areas in spite of a decrease in total hepatic vitamin A. The present study suggests that an increase in hepatic retinol as well as a decrease in retinyl palmitate may facilitate the process of hepatic fibrosis produced by lipocytes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Diterpenes
  • Hydroxyproline / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental / pathology
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Retinyl Esters
  • Vitamin A / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin A / metabolism*


  • Diterpenes
  • Retinyl Esters
  • Vitamin A
  • retinol palmitate
  • Collagen
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Hydroxyproline