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Methimazole Slows Hepatocyte Streaming In Rats

R. Oren, G. Zajicek, Y. Maaravi, G. Kenet, Fanny Karmely, A. Hubert, P. Raanani, N. Arber
Published 2004 · Biology, Medicine

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Hepatocytes are hypothesized to continuallystream from the portal tract to the terminal hepaticvein. By this model, when a cell divides, one of itsprogeny replaces the dividing ancestor and the other is displaced into a more remote location. Thepresent experiment aims to demonstrate thathypothyroidism affects liver cell turnover. Thirty maleadult rats were divided into two groups. One receivedmethimazole for two weeks and the other served as control.Each rat was injected intraperitoneally with 18.5 KBq[3H]thymidine/g body weight. Rats were killedafter 1 hr and two and four weeks. Autoradiography was done. The distance of the labeled cells fromthe portal tract was measured. The mean TSH levels ofthe methimazole-treated group and controls were 1.45 and0.25 mM/liter, respectively (P < 0.01). Hepatocyte streaming was lower in hypothyroid (1.8μm/day) than in untreated rats (2.5 μm/day) (P< 0.01). The respective labeling indices 1 hr afterlabeling were 0.9% and 1.24% (P < 0.05). We concludethat hypothyroidism diminishes hepatocyte and littoral cellturnover and slows down their streaming.
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