Gut and Liver 2007; 1(2): 165-170 https://doi.org/10.5009/gnl.2007.1.2.165 Decreased Hepatic Nerve Fiber Innervation in Patients with Liver Cirrhosis
Author Information
Soon Woo Nam*, Hyun Joo Song, Su Jung Back, Tae Hun Kim, Se Hyun Cho*, Joon-Yeol Han*, Kwon Yoo, Young Suk Lee*, and Kyu Won Chung
*Department of Internal Medicine, Medical College of the Catholic University of Korea; and Department of Internal Medicine, Ewha Medical Center of Korea

Kyu Won Chung
© The Korean Society of Gastroenterology, the Korean Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, Korean College of Helicobacter and Upper Gastrointestinal Research, Korean Association the Study of Intestinal Diseases, the Korean Association for the Study of the Liver, Korean Pancreatobiliary Association, and Korean Society of Gastrointestinal Cancer. All rights reserved.

Abstract
Background/Aims: Hepatic nerve innervation plays important roles in hepatic metabolism and hemodynamic mechanisms. We compared the distribution patterns of hepatic nerves between normal livers and two liver diseases to elucidate the effects of liver disease on the distribution of hepatic nerves. Methods: Tissue specimens were obtained by ultrasonography-guided needle biopsies from 10 normal controls, 74 patients with chronic hepatitis (CH), and 35 patients with liver cirrhosis (LC). The obtained specimens were immunohistochemically stained using antibodies for S-100 protein and Ձ-smooth-muscle actin (Ձ-SMA). The degree of the expression in liver tissues was quantified by manual counting of positively stained nerve fibers under light microscopy. The serum hyaluronic acid level was assayed in all subjects to evaluate hepatic fibrosis. Electron microscopy examinations were also performed. Results: The hepatic nerve innervation was significantly lower in LC than in normal controls, as indicated by S-100 protein staining. Ձ-SMA and hyaluronic acid levels were higher in LC and CH than in normal controls. Electron microscopy revealed that unmyelinated nerve fiber bundles in the intralobar connective tissue coursed in the vicinity of hepatic triads. Conclusions: These results suggest that hepatic nerve innervation can be decreased by hepatic inflammatory responses and/or fibrotic changes in LC patients. Further study is needed to clarify this observation. (Gut and Liver 2007; 1:165-170)
Keywords: Ձ-SMA; Electron microscopy; Hepatic nerve innervation; Hyaluronic acid; S-100
Abstract
Background/Aims: Hepatic nerve innervation plays important roles in hepatic metabolism and hemodynamic mechanisms. We compared the distribution patterns of hepatic nerves between normal livers and two liver diseases to elucidate the effects of liver disease on the distribution of hepatic nerves. Methods: Tissue specimens were obtained by ultrasonography-guided needle biopsies from 10 normal controls, 74 patients with chronic hepatitis (CH), and 35 patients with liver cirrhosis (LC). The obtained specimens were immunohistochemically stained using antibodies for S-100 protein and Ձ-smooth-muscle actin (Ձ-SMA). The degree of the expression in liver tissues was quantified by manual counting of positively stained nerve fibers under light microscopy. The serum hyaluronic acid level was assayed in all subjects to evaluate hepatic fibrosis. Electron microscopy examinations were also performed. Results: The hepatic nerve innervation was significantly lower in LC than in normal controls, as indicated by S-100 protein staining. Ձ-SMA and hyaluronic acid levels were higher in LC and CH than in normal controls. Electron microscopy revealed that unmyelinated nerve fiber bundles in the intralobar connective tissue coursed in the vicinity of hepatic triads. Conclusions: These results suggest that hepatic nerve innervation can be decreased by hepatic inflammatory responses and/or fibrotic changes in LC patients. Further study is needed to clarify this observation. (Gut and Liver 2007; 1:165-170)
Keywords: Ձ-SMA; Electron microscopy; Hepatic nerve innervation; Hyaluronic acid; S-100
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