Fetal programming of hepatic lobular architecture in the rat demonstrated ex vivo with magnetic resonance imaging

S. P. Burns, G. Regan, H. C. Murphy, P. Kinchesh

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We demonstrate that MRI imaging at sub-millimetre resolution can distinguish between periportal and perivenous zones of the rat liver lobule. This made it possible to measure the hepatic lobular radius in ex-vivo perfused fixed livers using MRI. Comparisons of histomorphometric and MRI measurements of lobular radius were in good agreement, although MR/measurements were significantly smaller (P < 0.001). Male rats whose mothers were fed 40% of the protein of controls during gestation and lactation, had a significantly larger hepatic lobular radius than that of controls [449 ± 11 μm vs 373 ± 9 μm (mean ± SEM), respectively, p < 0.001, n = 12; histomorphometry data]. The proton T2 in periportal and perivenous zones was mapped both before and after antegrade or retrograde perfusion of 10 ml of digitonin (4 mg ml-1). Only the T2 of the hypointense regions increased significantly following antegrade perfusion of digitonin and conversely only that of the intense regions following retrograde perfusion. Digitonin causes permeabilization of cells in specific hepatic zones, determined by the direction of perfusion. The intense and hypointense regions of the hepatic MR images thus arise from the perivenous and periportal zones of the hepatic lobule, respectively. Copyright (C) 2000 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-91
Number of pages10
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2000
Externally publishedYes


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