Effects of liver denervation on bile formation were studied in eight dogs prepared with chronic biliary fistulas. The animals were studied in the basal state, after feeding, and during infusion of glucagon 50 ng/kg/min, secretin 2 U/kg/hr, or somatostatin 200 ng/kg/min. After this first set of experiments the animals underwent a total hepatic denervation that consisted of section of the hepatic ligaments and a careful dissection of the portal vein, hepatic artery, and common duct with stripping of all the surrounding connective tissue and topical application of phenol. The above experiments were then repeated. Denervation did not modify bile flow, or bile salts, cholesterol, or phospholipid concentration or output. Biliary response to glucagon and secretin was similar before and after denervation. Somatostatin had an an-ticholerectic effect in both intact and denervated animals, but significantly reduced bile salt output only in the intact dogs. Feeding had a choleretic effect pre- and postdenervation, and the infusion of somatostatin following feeding decreased bile flow to the same degree before and after denervation. In the intact animals the output of all three biliary lipids was reduced by somatostatin after feeding but they were unaffected by somatostatin after denervation. Moreover, cholesterol and phospholipid outputs were stable after feeding in intact animals, but significantly decreased after denervation.14C-erythritol clearance studies indicated no change in the canalicular component of bile flow with denervation, except again during somatostatin suppression of feeding. These data indicate that basal bile flow is normal after denervation but that innervation may play an important role in the modulation of responses to somatostatin and more complex stimuli such as feeding.
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