Gadoxetate-enhanced MR imaging and compartmental modelling to assess hepatocyte bidirectional transport function in rats with advanced liver fibrosis
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Changes in the expression of hepatocyte membrane transporters in advanced fibrosis decrease the hepatic transport function of organic anions. The aim of our study was to assess if these changes can be evaluated with pharmacokinetic analysis of the hepatobiliary transport of the MR contrast agent gadoxetate.
Dynamic gadoxetate-enhanced MRI was performed in 17 rats with advanced fibrosis and 8 normal rats. After deconvolution, hepatocyte three-compartmental analysis was performed to calculate the hepatocyte influx, biliary efflux and sinusoidal backflux rates. The expression of Oatp1a1, Mrp2 and Mrp3 organic anion membrane transporters was assessed with reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction.
In the rats with advanced fibrosis, the influx and efflux rates of gadoxetate decreased and the backflux rate increased significantly (p = 0.003, 0.041 and 0.010, respectively). Significant correlations were found between influx and Oatp1a1 expression (r = 0.78, p < 0.001), biliary efflux and Mrp2 (r = 0.50, p = 0.016) and sinusoidal backflux and Mrp3 (r = 0.61, p = 0.002).
These results show that changes in the bidirectional organic anion hepatocyte transport function in rats with advanced liver fibrosis can be assessed with compartmental analysis of gadoxetate-enhanced MRI.
• Expression of hepatocyte transporters is modified in rats with advanced liver fibrosis.
• Kinetic parameters at gadoxetate-enhanced MRI are correlated with hepatocyte transporter expression.
• Hepatocyte transport function can be assessed with compartmental analysis of gadoxetate-enhanced MRI.
• Compartmental analysis of gadoxetate-enhanced MRI might provide biomarkers in advanced liver fibrosis.
KeywordsHepatocyte transport function Expression of membrane transporter Compartmental modeling Gadoxetate-enhanced MRI Rat liver fibrosis
The authors thank Valérie Paradis (department of pathology, Beaujon University Hospital Paris Nord, Clichy, France) for performing the histopathological studies. The scientific guarantor of this publication is Bernard E. Van Beers. The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article. The authors state that this work has not received any funding. No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper. Approval from the institutional animal care committee was obtained. Methodology: retrospective, experimental, performed at one institution.
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