Background: The use of mild hypothermia has been suggested to be therapeutically useful in treating acute liver failure. It is not known if hypothermia influences liver regeneration.
Aim: To assess the effect of hypothermia on liver regeneration in mice.
Methods: After partial (70%) hepatectomy (PHx), C57BL6/J mice were randomly assigned to either a hypothermic group or a normothermic group. Controlled mild hypothermia was maintained for up to 3 h after surgery. In addition, assessment of liver mass restitution was examined by studying the induction of key cell cycle proteins (cyclin A, D1 and E) and hepatocyte proliferation [assessment of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) protein expression] by Western blotting and DNA synthesis by measuring 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation by immunohistochemical techniques 45 h after PHx.
Results: Partial hepatectomy induced a vigorous proliferative response in the remnant livers of both groups of mice (normothermic and hypothermic groups), as evidenced by the induction of key cyclins, PCNA and incorporation of BrdU after PHx. The liver/body weight ratio and both cyclin and PCNA protein expression as well as BrdU incorporation did not differ between the regenerating livers of hypothermic and normothermic groups.
Conclusion: Mild hypothermia does not influence liver regeneration in mice.