Abstract:Aims/Background: Conflicting data have been reported concerning the modification of cytochrome P450 expression in the regenerating liver. Ligation of branches of the portal vein (PBL) perfusing 70% of the liver parenchyma, which produces regeneration and atrophy within the same liver, constitutes an ideal model to study the relative specificity of the early events in the regenerating liver and their relationship to the loss of liver mass. Methods: In this PBL model and in sham models, we studied the expression and the metabolic activities of two major cytochromes, CYP3A and CYP2E1, and the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase protein (iNOS). They were simultaneously measured in the atrophying and regenerating liver lobes following PBL using Western Blot and HPLC methods. Results: The metabolic activities of both cytochromes were transiently and simultaneously down-regulated in the regenerating and atrophying lobes during the first 2–5 h after PBL. No significant modification was observed at the protein level. In contrast, iNOS protein was significantly induced in both lobes. Similar results were observed after sham operation. Conclusions: The reduction of these CYP activities in both lobes after PBL and in sham livers suggests that other mechanisms than the regenerating process itself or the reduction of the liver mass might account for such down-regulation during the early phase of liver regeneration. The activation of nitric oxide (NO) and/or pro-inflammatory cytokine production provides clues to pathways liable to affect the CYP activities in the regenerating liver.