Background/Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect and the mechanism of hyperbaric oxygen treatment on regenerating rat liver after partial hepatectomy (PH). Methods: Wistar rats underwent a 70% PH, followed by treatment with hyperbaric oxygen starting 8 h after PH. The regenerated liver weight and serum parameters were compared. Proliferation of both hepatocytes and sinusoidal endothelial cell (SEC) was also monitored by evaluating the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) labeling index. Furthermore, the hepatic adenosine triphosphate levels and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) protein expression were analyzed at different times. Results: Hyperbaric oxygen treatment significantly reduced the serum alanine aminotransferase levels at 24 h, total bilirubin and total bile acid levels at 48 and 72 h, respectively. No significant differences in the hepatic adenosine triphosphate levels, the restitution of liver weight, or PCNA positive hepatocytes were observed between the two groups. The PCNA positive SEC, in contrast, was significantly increased in the hyperbaric oxygen group at 48 h, furthermore, the hyperbaric oxygen treatment significantly increased the expression of VEGF protein in the regenerating liver at 24 and 48 h. Conclusions: Hyperbaric oxygen treatment can be considered as a therapeutic modality after massive PH.
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