In this study we developed a model of in vivo intrauterine partial liver resection in the fetal rabbit to analyze fetal liver regeneration. After intravenous anesthesia, 12 time-dated pregnant, California rabbits underwent a midline laparotomy and minimal hysterotomy at 24-25 days of gestational age. One fetus was exposed from each pregnant doe and the fetal liver was partially resected. Cesarean sections were performed 24, 48 and 72 h and 4 days after surgery. Three fetuses operated at 24 days of gestational age and 3 fetuses operated at 25 days were alive at retrieval. The fetuses and the sampled livers were weighed at retrieval and fetal liver weight showed a well-maintained value in all cases. Fetal livers were processed for the common histologic stains. Lymphocytes, polymorphonuclear leukocytes and phagocytes were counted from sections obtained in areas close to the edge of resection. Inflammatory cells showed a peculiar pattern of infiltration at different stages of repair, with a constantly increased number of phagocytes peaking 48 h after resection. Fetal liver seems to present a specific pattern of repair that differs from both the adult liver and other fetal tissues healing after injury.
- Fetal disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Obstetrics and Gynecology