Recently, simultaneous hepatectomy and pancreatoduodenectomy has been performed for the treatment of some biliary tract cancers in Japan. Postoperative hepatic failure is a common and potentially fatal complication. The aim of this study was to examine the reduction in the rate of liver regeneration after 70% hepatectomy (Hx) alone or in combination with 70% pancreatectomy (HPx). Male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent hepatectomy or simultaneous hepatectomy and pancreatectomy. The ratio of liver weight to body weight, the labeling index of hepatocytes in vivo, and DNA synthesis of the hepatocytes and/or Kupffer cells in primary culture were analyzed. The ratio of liver weight to body weight and the labeling index in HPx rat were found to be significantly lower than those values in Hx rats. There were no significant differences in plasma alanine aminotransferase levels between the two groups. The inhibitory effect on DNA synthesis was observed with coculture of hepatocytes and Kupffer cells when the portal plasma obtained 1 hour after operation was added. We further observed that the conditioned medium of Kupffer cells stimulated by the addition of the portal plasma that was obtained 1 hour after HPx inhibited DNA synthesis of hepatocytes. This effect was abolished after incubation at 56° C for 30 minutes. These results strongly suggest the existence of a growth inhibitory factor in portal plasma after HPx. This heat-labile growth inhibitory factor was released from Kupffer cells and would appear to act on hepatocytes in a paracrine manner. (J GASTROINTEST SURG 1999;3:654-661.).
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