Quantification of Hepatic Vascular and Parenchymal Regeneration in Mice


Background. Liver regeneration consists of cellular proliferation leading to parenchymal and vascular growth. This study complements previous studies on cellular proliferation and weight recovery by (1) quantitatively describing parenchymal and vascular regeneration, and (2) determining their relationship. Both together are needed to (3) characterize the underlying growth pattern.

Methods. Specimens were created by injecting a polymerizing contrast agent in either portal or hepatic vein in normal or regenerating livers after 70% partial hepatectomy. 3D image data were obtained through micro-CT scanning. Parenchymal growth was assessed by determining weight and volume of the regenerating liver. Vascular growth was described by manually determined circumscribed parameters (maximal vessel length and radius of right inferior portal/hepatic vein), automatically determined cumulative parameters (total edge length and total vascular volume), and parameters describing vascular density (total edge length/volume, vascular volume fraction). The growth pattern was explored by comparing the relative increase of these parameters to the increase expected in case of isotropic expansion.

Results. Liver volume recovery paralleled weight recovery and reached 90% of the original liver volume within 7 days. Comparing radius-related vascular parameters immediately after surgical resection and after virtual resection in-silico revealed a slight increase, possibly reflecting the effect of resection-induced portal hyperperfusion. Comparing length-related parameters between post-operative day 7 and after virtual resection showed similar vascular growth in both vascular systems investigated. In contrast, radius-related parameters increased slightly more in the portal vein. Despite the seemingly homogeneous 3D growth, the observed vascular parameters were not compatible with the hypothesis of isotropic expansion of liver parenchyma and vascular structures.

Conclusion. We present an approach for the quantitative analysis of the vascular systems of regenerating mouse livers. We applied this technique for assessing the hepatic growth pattern. Prospectively, this approach can be used to investigate hepatic vascular regeneration under different conditions.


Projects: D4: Regeneration and Liver Size, E3: Horizontal integration on organ scale

PLoS ONE 11(8) : e0160581
5th Aug 2016

Chichi Xie, Lars Ole Schwen, Weiwei Wei, Andrea Schenk, Sara Zafarnia, Felix Gremse, Uta Dahmen

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[Lars Ole Schwen] [Weiwei Wei] [Andrea Schenk] [Sara Zafarnia] [Uta Dahmen]

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Views: 753
  • Created: 26th May 2017 at 09:10
  • Last updated: 26th May 2017 at 09:12

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