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Recovery from dietary cirrhosis of the liver in the rat; changes in hepatic collagen and in microscopic appearance

Recovery from dietary cirrhosis of the liver in the rat; changes in hepatic collagen and in microscopic appearance

Archives of Pathology 69: 168-174

Male rats of the Sprague-Dawley strain were placed on a protein-deficient (4% casein) diet for six months. At this time, biopsy tissue from the liver was obtained. About 70% of the rats exhibited diffuse fatty cirrhosis. A sample group of animals were killed and their livers analyzed chemically for collagen. The remaining rats with cirrhosis of the liver were placed on a nutritious Chow diet for 10 months, at which time they were killed, their livers examined microscopically, and the collagen concentration of their livers quantitated. Comparison of findings at the time of biopsy and at autopsy showed that in animals fed the Chow diet there had been disappearance of fatty changes and lymphocytic infiltration and of connective tissue overgrowth, with a return of normal appearing parenchyma. In rats with moderate degrees of cirrhosis at 6 months, the recovery appeared to be complete at the time of autopsy. In those with severe liver cirrhosis there often remained a few fine strands of connective tissue at autopsy. Values for liver collagen, measured as hydroxyproline, showed corresponding changes. Untreated animals with cirrhosis had liver collagen values of about twice the normal. In contrast, the liver collagen concentration of treated animals was that of the normal controls. In experimental dietary cirrhosis of the liver, the increased connective tissue disappears with appropriate treatment. The mechanism by which this takes place has not been determined.

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Accession: 014163490

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PMID: 14430813

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