Liver regeneration: immunohistochemichal study of intrinsic hepatic innervation after partial hepatectomy in rats
The possible presence of neural sprouting in the afferent neurons of regenerated rat liver after hepatectomy was investigated bu retrograde transport of horesradish peroxidase. This experiment was carried out to see if the increase in hepatic parenchyma could provide an adequate stimulus for the sprouting precess. The study was limited to the vagal afferents, particularly the left ones, because they are the principal contributors to hepatic afferent innervation in the rat. The results show that neural sprouting does not occur in regenerated rat liver after 3 weeks In fact, the number of intensely labeled neurons in the left nodose ganglia of hepatectomized rats was significantly smaller than in controls. This could be due to a lessened availability of horseradish peroxidase to nerve terminals in hepatectomized and control animals. This could be a consequence of their possible distribution in hepatic areas not involved in the regenerative process.