The effects of serum from cirrhotic and noncirrhotic rats after 33% and 70% partial hepatectomy on the hepatocyte culture were studied. Liver cirrhosis was produced by weekly intra-gastric feeding with carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) for 12-16 weeks. The serum was prepared with blood withdrawn from the rats 2 and 48 h after partial hepatectomy or sham operation. The incorporation of [3H]thymidine in the hepatocyte culture after addition of rat serum (1.0 ± 105cells/ml) was assessed. We found that the mitogenic effect of the serum at 2 and 48 h after partial hepatectomy was not significant. In the 70% hepatectomy group, the serum from cirrhotic rats had a stronger stimulatory effect to induce hepatocytes in primary culture entering DNA synthesis than that from noncirrhotic rats; but the difference was not statistically significant. The mitogenic effect of the serum from noncirrhotic rats after 33% hepatectomy was significantly lower than that from cirrhotic rats after 33% hepatectomy (p < 0.05). In this series, the serum from the cirrhotic rats after 33% hepatectomy had the strongest mitogenic effect; the serum from the partially hepatectomized rats with cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic livers increased [3H]thymidine uptake into hepatocyte DNA significantly more than control serum or plasma.

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