Periportal and perivenous hepatocytes retain their zonal characteristics in primary culture.
ABSTRACT Periportal and perivenous hepatocytes from rat liver were isolated by combined digitonin-collagenase perfusion, and gluconeogenesis, urea synthesis and fatty acid synthesis was measured both in freshly isolated cells and in primary culture. A periportal zonation of gluconeogenesis and urea synthesis of about 3 and 1.5 fold, respectively, was observed. This zonation persisted unchanged for 23 hours in culture under identical conditions of incubation for periportal and perivenous cells. Fatty acid synthesis was not zonated.
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ABSTRACT: Despite a longstanding research interest ever since the early work by Claude Bernard, the functional significance of autonomic liver innervation, either sympathetic or parasympathetic, is still ill defined. This scarcity of information not only holds for the brain control of hepatic metabolism, but also for the metabolic sensing function of the liver and the way in which this metabolic information from the liver affects the brain. Clinical information from the bedside suggests that successful human liver transplantation (implying a complete autonomic liver denervation) causes no life threatening metabolic derangements, at least in the absence of severe metabolic challenges such as hypoglycemia. However, from the benchside, data are accumulating that interference with the neuronal brain-liver connection does cause pronounced changes in liver metabolism. This review provides an extensive overview on how metabolic information is sensed by the liver, and how this information is processed via neuronal pathways to the brain. With this information the brain controls liver metabolism and that of other organs and tissues. We will pay special attention to the hypothalamic pathways involved in these liver-brain-liver circuits. At this stage, we still do not know the final destination and processing of the metabolic information that is transferred from the liver to the brain. On the other hand, in recent years, there has been a considerable increase in the understanding which brain areas are involved in the control of liver metabolism via its autonomic innervation. However, in view of the ever rising prevalence of type 2 diabetes, this potentially highly relevant knowledge is still by far too limited. Thus the autonomic innervation of the liver and its role in the control of metabolism needs our continued and devoted attention.Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 04/2010; 1802(4):416-31. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The liver is the major organ for metabolism of drugs and other xenobiotics. Expression of many drug-metabolizing enzymes is not equally distributed throughout the liver: under normal conditions, many of them, including the most relevant members of the cytochrome P450 superfamily, are exclusively expressed in a hepatocyte subpopulation located near branches of the efferent central vein. Activation of different ligand-dependent transcription factors by exogenous compounds stimulates high expression of certain cytochrome P450 isoforms. This process also occurs preferentially in perivenous hepatocytes. The mechanisms, however, which determine the zone-specificity of basal and xenobiotic-induced expression of cytochrome P450 enzymes, have remained largely unknown for decades. Very recently, signaling through the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway has been implicated in the regulation of zonal gene expression in mouse liver. In this review, current knowledge of cytochrome P450 regulation by beta-catenin-dependent transcription is summarized and underlying molecular mechanisms are discussed.Biological Chemistry 01/2010; 391(2-3):139-48. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Signaling through the Wnt/β-catenin pathway is a crucial determinant of hepatic zonal gene expression, liver development, regeneration, and tumorigenesis. Transgenic mice with hepatocyte-specific knockout of Ctnnb1 (encoding β-catenin) have proven their usefulness in elucidating these processes. We now found that a small number of hepatocytes escape the Cre-mediated gene knockout in that mouse model. The remaining β-catenin-positive hepatocytes showed approximately 25% higher cell volumes compared to the β-catenin-negative cells and exhibited a marker protein expression profile similar to that of normal perivenous hepatocytes or hepatoma cells with mutationally activated β-catenin. Surprisingly, the expression pattern was observed independent of the cell's position within the liver lobule, suggesting a malfunction of physiological periportal repression of perivenously expressed genes in β-catenin-deficient liver. Clusters of β-catenin-expressing hepatocytes lacked expression of the gap junction proteins Connexin 26 and 32. Nonetheless, β-catenin-positive hepatocytes had no striking proliferative advantage, but started to grow out on treatment with phenobarbital, a tumor-promoting agent known to facilitate the formation of mouse liver adenoma with activating mutations of Ctnnb1. Progressive re-population of Ctnnb1 knockout livers with wild-type hepatocytes was seen in aged mice with a pre-cirrhotic phenotype. In these large clusters of β-catenin-expressing hepatocytes, perivenous-specific gene expression was re-established. In summary, our data demonstrate that the zone-specificity of a hepatocyte's gene expression profile is dependent on the presence of β-catenin, and that β-catenin provides a proliferative advantage to hepatocytes when promoted with phenobarbital, or in a pre-cirrhotic environment.Histochemie 10/2010; 134(5):469-81. · 2.61 Impact Factor