Cell proliferation, apoptosis, NF-κB expression, enzyme, protein, and weight changes in livers of burned rats

M. G. Jeschke, J. F.A. Low, M. Spies, R. Vita, H. K. Hawkins, D. N. Herndon, R. E. Barrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Thermal injury has been shown to alter gut epithelium and heart myocyte homeostasis by inducing programmed cell death. The effect of thermal injury on hepatocyte apoptosis and proliferation, however, has not been established. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a large thermal injury increases liver cell apoptosis and proliferation and whether these changes were associated with alterations in hepatic nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) expression and changes in liver enzymes and amount of protein. Sprague-Dawley rats received a 40% total body surface area scald burn or sham burn. Rats were killed and livers were harvested at 1, 2, 5, and 7 days after burn. Liver cell apoptosis was determined by terminal deoxyuridine nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay and cell proliferation by immunohistochemistry for proliferating cell nuclear antigen. Hepatic NF-κB expression was determined by Western blot, and total hepatic protein content was determined by protein assay. Protein concentration decreased after burn compared with sham controls (P < 0.05). Liver cell apoptosis, proliferation, and NF-κB expression in hepatocytes increased in burned rats compared with controls (P < 0.05). It was concluded that thermal injury induces hepatic cell apoptosis and proliferation associated with an increase in hepatic NF-κB expression and a decrease in hepatic protein concentration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G1314-G1320
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number6 43-6
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Hepatic cells
  • Thermal injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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