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Keywords:

  • DNA;
  • liver;
  • mouse;
  • tumour;
  • vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)

Transplanted tumours could modify the intensity and temporal distribution of the cellular proliferation in normal cell populations, and partial hepatectomy alters the serum concentrations of substances involved in cellular proliferation, leading to the compensatory liver hyperplasia. The following experiments were designed in order to study the SI (S-phase index) and VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) expression in regenerating liver (after partial hepatectomy) of adult male mice bearing a hepatocellular carcinoma, throughout one complete circadian cycle. We used adult male C3H/S-strain mice. After an appropriate period of synchronization, the C3H/S-histocompatible ES2a hepatocellular carcinoma was grafted into the subcutaneous tissue of each animal's flank. To determine the index of SI and VEGF expression of hepatocytes, we used immunohistochemistry. The animals were divided into two experimental groups: Group I, control, hepatectomized animals; Group II, hepatectomized tumour-bearing animals. The statistical analysis of SI and VEGF expression was performed using Anova and Tukey as a postcomparison test. The results show that in the second group, the curve of SI changes the time points for maximum and minimum activity, and the peak of VEGF expression appears before the first group. In conclusion, in the hepatectomized mice, the increases of hepatic proliferation, measured by the SI index, may produce a rise in VEGF expression with the object of generating a vascular network for hepatic regeneration. Lastly, as we have mentioned, in hepatectomized and tumour-bearing mice, the peak of VEGF expression appears before the one of DNA synthesis.