Hyperbaric oxygen preconditioning promotes angiogenesis in rat liver after partial hepatectomy

Ping Ren, Zhiming Kang, Guojun Gu, Yun Liu, Weigang Xu, Hengyi Tao, John H Zhang, Xuejun Sun, Hui Ji
Life Sciences 2008 August 15, 83 (7): 236-41
Hyperbaric oxygen preconditioning (HBO-PC) increases the level of HIF-1alpha (hypoxia inducible factor-1alpha) and its target gene VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) which is involved in angiogenesis. Liver regeneration is an angiogenesis-dependent process. We hypothesized that HIF-1alpha and VEGF mediated the angiogenesis effect of HBO-PC on regenerating rat liver. Male Sprague Dawley rats received HBO-PC followed by 70% partial hepatectomy. Proliferation of hepatocytes and endothelial cells was evaluated by BrdU (bromodeoxyuridine) staining. Microvascular density was assessed by immunohistochemistry. mRNA expression of HIF-1alpha was assessed by quantitative RT-PCR and protein levels of HIF-1alpha and VEGF were assessed by western blot. HIF-1alpha DNA-binding activity was determined with an ELISA-based kit. HBO-PC increased the proliferation index of endothelial cells and microvascular density at 48 h after partial hepatectomy. The protein level and DNA-binding activity of HIF-1alpha and the protein level of VEGF were increased by HBO-PC before and after partial hepatectomy. Partial hepatectomy alone also increased proliferation index and the expressions of HIF-1alpha and VEGF. Our results indicated that the angiogenesis effect of HBO-PC on liver after partial hepatectomy could be achieved by increased HIF-1alpha activity and VEGF expression. However, the angiogenic effect of HBO-PC is moderate and HBO-PC failed to produce additional effect on the enhancement of HIF-1alpha and VEGF induced by partial hepatectomy alone.

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