A modified choline-deficient, ethionine-supplemented diet protocol effectively induces oval cells in mouse liver



Several reliable and reproducible methods are available to induce oval cells in rat liver. Effective methods often involve inhibiting proliferation in hepatocytes using an alkylating agent, then subjecting the rat to partial hepatectomy (PH). The surgery is difficult to perform reproducibly in mice. Approaches that do not include partial hepatectomy, such as administration of D-galactosamine, are ineffective in mice. We found that a choline-deficient, ethionine-supplemented (CDE) diet, which is very effective in rats, leads to high morbidity and mortality when administered to mice. This article outlines an alternative protocol by which a CDE diet can be administered to mice. This diet is shown to be highly effective for oval cell induction, without causing high mortality. It takes less time and is at least as effective as other commonly used protocols for inducing oval cells in mice. (HEPATOLOGY 2001;34:519-522.)