We examined the expression of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) gene and LPL activity following a two-thirds hepatectomy and during liver regeneration. In most of the tissues studied, LPL activity increased a few hours after partial hepatectomy, but soon returned to normal levels. The greatest increase was found in the adrenal glands, plasma and liver. This increase in LPL activity in the liver could be partially due to an increase in the influx of the enzyme from extrahepatic tissues. There is, however, also a re-expression of LPL mRNA in the liver after partial hepatectomy (during the first hours). It is well known that LPL is expressed in the liver of neonatal animals, but progressively decreases during post-natal development, to reach adult levels around the time of weaning. Our results show by the first time that the remaining liver re-expresses LPL gene during the regeneration process and that the hepatocytes de-differentiate and acquire some of the neonatal characteristics. The increase in LPL mRNA will contribute to the rise in LPL activity after hepatectomy. This presence of LPL could enable the liver to take up fatty acids from the circulating triacylglycerols, which are needed as energetic and plastic substrates during the process of hepatic regeneration.

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