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Ki-67 expression during rat liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy

Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1053/jhep.1997.v26.pm0009303485
  • Biology
  • Chemistry


Abstract Antibodies to the cell-cycle-associated Ki-67 protein have been widely used for more than a decade as markers of proliferative cells. The prototype antibody Ki-67 reacted only with snap-frozen human tissue, but a novel antibody, MIB-1, was able to detect the Ki-67 antigen in paraffin wax-embedded human tissue. The ability of MIB-5, a novel antibody reactive with the rat equivalent Ki-67 protein, to immunohistochemically detect cycling parenchymal and littoral cells in the regenerating rat liver is reported. Rats underwent a standard two-thirds partial hepatectomy (PH), and groups of three animals were killed at intervals for up to 192 hours after PH. DNA synthesis was monitored by flash labeling with bromodeoxyuridine, and the response was as expected with a significant upsurge in hepatocyte labeling at 16 to 17 hours after PH. On the other hand, MIB-5 labeled a relatively constant percentage of hepatocytes (4%-8%) during the first 16 hours after PH, before a large proportion became labeled, also at 17 hours. The temporal pattern of MIB-5 labeling was similar to that of bromodeoxyuridine labeling, although, as expected, MIB-5 indices were higher. Semiquantification of Ki-67 messenger RNA (mRNA) levels by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction showed modest (fourfold to fivefold) increases in abundance during the first 12 hours after PH, but then levels increased dramatically to be at least 15-fold those of intact liver at 36 hours after PH. Much higher than normal levels of Ki-67 mRNA persisted throughout the period of study and even at 96 hours after PH they were still ninefold greater than normal. This study has shown the usefulness of the MIB-5 antibody to monitor proliferation in the rat liver, and furthermore, the pattern of expression of both the mRNA and the protein suggest that the Ki-67 protein, with hitherto unknown function, is more abundant in DNA synthesis and mitosis than in the early or even very late first G1 phase. (Hepatology 1997 Sep;26(3):573-8)

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