ABSTRACT: To determine whether insulin could promote sinusoidal endothelial cell (SEC) proliferation mediated by upregulation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in regenerating rat liver after partial hepatectomy (PHx).
Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats undergoing 70% PHx were injected with insulin (300 MU/kg) or saline via the tail veins every 8 h after surgery for 7 d and killed at 0, 24, 48, 72, 96, 120, 144, and 168 h after surgery. Proliferation of both hepatocytes and SECs was monitored by evaluating the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) labeling index (LI). The expression of VEGF protein was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. The mRNA expressions of VEGF and its receptors Flt-1 and Flk-1 were evaluated by semi-quantitative reverse transcription-PCR.
Insulin markedly increased the expression of VEGF mRNA between 24 and 120 h after hepatectomy compared to controls. Similarly, insulin significantly increased the expression of Flt-1 between 24 and 96 h. However, insulin had no significant effect on Flk-1. Furthermore, the immunohistochemical staining revealed that expression of VEGF protein increased in the insulin groups. Insulin significantly increased the PCNA LI of hepatocytes and SECs compared to controls.
Exogenous insulin may promote SEC proliferation with an enhanced expression of VEGF and its receptor Flt-1 in regenerating rat liver after PHx.
World Journal of Gastroenterology 11/2005; 11(38):5978-83. · 2.47 Impact Factor