Hepatic cells in rats were evaluated after subtotal hepatectomy using scintillation scanning with technetium sulfur colloid (TSC), autoradiography, and microstereology techniques. The ability of the liver to accumulate TSC increased during the course of the regeneration as did the labeling of Kupffer and parenchymal cells with tritiated thymidine ( 3H-tdR). Kupffer to parenchymal cell number ratios and Kupffer cell relative areas were also elevated, attaining peak values at 72 hours post-hepatectomy. This period corresponds to the time of peak erythropoietin (Ep) production in rats with regenerating livers after nephrectomy and exposure to hypoxia. These findings suggest that the Kupffer cell may function as a cellular site of Ep formation.
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