Cell Death (Apoptosis) in Normal and Preneoplastic Liver Tissue

  • W. Bursch
  • R. Schulte-Hermann


Numerous compounds of “xenobiotic” origin such as the environmental pollutant α-hexachlorocyclohexane, the synthetic sex steroid cyproterone acetate (CPA), phenobarbital (PB) or various other lipophilic compounds have been found to produce liver tumors in long-term animal experiments, although they do not exhibit detectable genotoxic activity. Studies on the mechanisms of action of such nongenotoxic hepatocarcinogens revealed that these with respect to their chemical structure and general biological or pharmacological effects very heterogenous chemicals share the ability to increase activities of hepatic enzymes involved in the metabolism of lipophilic substrates and to increase the size (hypertrophy) and the number (hyperplasia) of hepatocytes. These changes are thought to reflect an adaptive program in the liver that is switched on consequently to the increased functional demands on the organ (Conney et al. 1960; Argyris and Magnus 1968; Schlicht et al. 1967, 1968; Koransky et al. 1969; Schulte-Hermann 1974; Schulte-Hermann et al. 1980a,b).


Cyproterone Acetate Normal Hepatocyte Liver Growth Distinct Border Adaptive Program 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Bursch
    • 1
  • R. Schulte-Hermann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Tumorbiologie-KrebsforschungAbtl. Onkologische ToxikologieWienAustria

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