This study, utilizing rats subjected to two-thirds partial hepatectomy or sham operation, was designed (1) to investigate the content of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in the subcellular fractions of regenerating and sham-operated rat livers by immunoblot experiments and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), (2) to show that bFGF immunoreactivity and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) immunoreactivity are markers for hepatocellular mitosis before and after partial hepatectomy, and (3) to observe the location and fine structure of the bFGF immunoreaction within the regenerating liver with special attention to bFGF immunoreactivity in the nuclei of regenerating hepatocytes. Immunoblot experiments and ELISA showed a transient increase in high-molecular-weight forms of bFGF in the nuclear subcellular fraction of regenerating liver 48 h after partial hepatectomy. By light microscopy, bFGF and PCNA immunoreactivities were detected in the nuclei of regenerating hepatocytes. Electron microscopy demonstrated bFGF-like immunoreactivity mainly in the nuclear euchromatin and rarely in the heterochromatin or nucleoli of regenerating hepatocytes. The transient increase in high-molecular-weight forms of bFGF in the nuclear euchromatin of regenerating hepatocytes, together with the concomitant expression of PCNA in the regenerating liver, suggests an important role of the high-molecular-weight forms of bFGF in hepatocyte proliferation and/or mitosis, although authentic bFGF with a molecular form of 18 kDa is not considered to be involved in hepatic regeneration.
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Received: 20 August 1996 / Accepted: 4 December 1996
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Kushihata, F., Matsuda, S., Sano, A. et al. Expression of basic fibroblast growth factor-like immunoreactivity in the nuclei of regenerating hepatocytes. Cell Tissue Res 288, 517–527 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004410050837
- Key words: Liver
- Subcellular fractions
- Electron microscopy
- Rat (Wistar)