Elevated Liver Regeneration in Response to Pharmacological Reduction of Elevated Portal Venous Pressure by Terlipressin After Partial Hepatectomy

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BackgroundLiver regeneration is of crucial importance for patients undergoing living liver transplantations or extended liver resections and can be associated with elevated portal venous pressure, impaired hepatic regeneration, and postoperative morbidity. The aim of this study was to assess whether reduction of portal venous pressure by terlipressin improves postoperative liver regeneration in normal and steatotic livers after partial hepatectomy in a rodent model.MethodsPortal venous pressure was assessed after minor (30%), standard (60%), or extended (80%) partial hepatectomy (PH) in mice with and without liver steatosis. Liver regeneration was assessed by BrdU incorporation and Ki-67 immunostaining.ResultsPortal venous pressure was significantly elevated post-PH in mice with normal and steatotic livers compared to sham-operated mice. Reduction of elevated portal pressure after 80% PH by terlipressin was associated with an increase of hepatocellular proliferation. In steatotic livers, animals treated with terlipressin had an increase in liver regeneration after 30% PH and increased survival after 60% PH. Mechanistically, terlipressin alleviated IL-6 mRNA expression following PH and down-regulated p21 and GADD45 mRNA suggesting a reduction of cell cycle inhibition and cellular stress.ConclusionsReduction of elevated portal pressure post-PH by the use of terlipressin improves liver regeneration after PH in lean and steatotic mouse livers.

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