Decreased density of β1-adrenergic receptors in preneoplastic and neoplastic liver lesions of F344 rats

Rosanna Cardani, T. Zavanella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is some evidence that rodent hepatocarcinogenesis is accompanied by changes in the adrenergic responsiveness of liver cells to catecholamines. In this study, immunohistochemical expression of β1-adrenergic receptors (β1-ARs) has been examined in spontaneous and chemically induced preneoplastic and neoplastic liver lesions of female and male Fischer 344 rats. An antibody specific for β1-AR subtype was used. The study was carried out on archival formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded livers from rats used in a previous study of hepatocarcinogenesis. One control group given distilled water by gavage, and two experimental groups, one initiated with a single dose of diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and one initiated with DEN and continuously treated with phenobarbital (PB) were examined. Rats were sacrificed after 2, 4, 8 and 21 months of experimentation. All types of liver putative preneoplastic lesions examined (basophilic, glycogen-retaining, or mixed cell foci) show a lower density of β1-ARs than the surrounding normal liver parenchyma, either in control and in DEN-treated or DEN+PB-treated rats. No immunostaining is detectable in several altered cell foci. Hepatocellular adenomas and hepatocellular carcinomas also show a very low density of β1-ARs, extensive areas completely devoid of β1-ARs being mingled with areas showing a weak immunostaining.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-850
Number of pages8
JournalHistology and Histopathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


  • β-adrenoreceptor
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neoplastic lesion
  • Preneoplastic lesion
  • Rat liver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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