• asialofetuin;
  • formaldehyde-treated bovine serum albumin;
  • liver regeneration;
  • receptor-mediated endocytosis

Liver sinusoidal cells play an important role in host defense by clearing particulate matter and macromolecules from the circulation. In this study, receptor-mediated endocytosis in sinusoidal cells was examined in two-thirds hepatectomized rats using 125I-labeled formaldehydetreated bovine serum albumin (fBSA) as an endocytable macromolecule. The liver-weight to body-weight ratio in hepatectomized rats returned to the control value 10 days after hepatectomy. The endocytotic index for fBSA in sinusoidal cells decreased significantly to 0.0210±0.0017 (controls, 0.0598±0.0019) on the first day, then returned to the control level at 5 days (0.0554±0.0030). The changes in hepatic uptake for fBSA showed a similar time course of the endocytotic index. A transient increase in the uptake of fBSA per unit weight of liver of 22–39% above control occurred 2 to 3 days after hepatectomy. In contrast to fBSA, the endocytotic index in hepatocytes evaluated with 125I-labeled asialofetuin reached the minimum level on the second day, and then recovered to the control level 10 days after hepatectomy. These results suggest that endocytosis of fBSA by sinusoidal cells decreases after hepatectomy and rapidly recovers to normal before the completion of liver regeneration, whereas endocytosis of asialofetuin by hepatocytes decreases following hepatic resection and returns to normal when regeneration is substantially complete.