• liver clearance;
  • liver regeneration;
  • partial hepatectomy;
  • plasma-kallikrein

Abstract: Aims/Background: The liver clears circulating plasma-kallikrein through a receptor-mediated endocytosis process: an initial fast phase is followed by a slow exponential phase. Methods: To determine whether the clearance rate of plasma-kallikrein is affected during liver regeneration, we perfused isolated rat livers with rat plasma-kallikrein (rPK) at 0, 1, 2, 3 and 7 days after partial hepatectomy or sham operation. Results: Liver regeneration was followed by the expression of the proliferating-cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) labeling index. The serum concentration of α2-macroglobulin, an acute phase protein in rats, was measured. At day 1, the fast phase of rPK clearance rate increased in hepatectomized rats when compared with day 0 (4.9±0.4 and 3.7±0.4 mU/g liver · min, p<0.05). However, at day 2, the rPK fast phase clearance rate dropped significantly (2.6±0.2, p<0.05), when compared with day 1. No difference was found among the sham groups at different days of hepatectomy. These changes seem to be independent of the acute phase reaction. The regenerative liver weight increased continuously during the observation period. PCNA expression increased significantly after hepatectomy, with maximal PCNA-labeling indices at days 1 and 2, declining thereafter. Conclusion: The rPK fast phase clearance rate changes during liver regeneration, with a zenith occurring when PCNA labeling index is maximal (day 1) and a nadir occurring at the mitotic phase (day 2).