Indexed on: 16 May '08Published on: 16 May '08Published in: Hepatology Research
Inchin-ko-to (ICKT), Kampo medicine, is known to inhibit hepatocyte apoptosis as well as promote the secretion and excretion of bile. The aim of this study is to clarify the effects of ICKT on liver function and hepatic regeneration after massive hepatectomy in rats.Male Wistar rats received 2 g/kg ICKT from 3 days preoperatively and underwent 90% hepatectomy. Liver sections were stained using immunohistochemistry (hemeoxygenase-1 [HO-1], alpha-smooth muscle actin [SMA], and proliferating cell nuclear antigen [PCNA]).The survival period was significantly prolonged, and the remnant liver/body weight ratio was significantly increased postoperatively in the ICKT group. The values of transaminase, total bile acid, and total bilirubin were significantly improved in the ICKT group. In the ICKT group, PCNA and HO-1 were strongly expressed early postoperatively, but the expression of alpha-SMA was weak.The preoperative administration of ICKT has been suggested to provide beneficial effects in promoting hepatic regeneration and preventing postoperative hepatic failure. The reduced activation of stellate cells may be involved in their mechanisms.