Many substances have been used after partial hepatectomy in order to determine how they act on the process of hepatic regeneration. An adequate blood flow seems to be very important in this process. Increased plasma histamine levels after hepatectomy in rats have been reported by some investigators. Substances that inhibit histidine-decarboxylase and histaminase lead to an elevation in endogenous histamine with sinusoid vasodilation and acceleration of hepatic regeneration. The objective of the present study was to determine the effect of exogenous histamine administered to partially hepatectomized rats. Thirty two Wistar rats were submitted to approximately 67% hepatectomy. The animals in the experimental group received subcutaneously 0.5 mg/kg/day of histamine and the controls received an equal volume of isotonic saline. Determinations were made after 36 hours and after 7 days. Liver weight did not differ between groups. The number of mitotic figures in 10 fields was higher in the experimental group after 36 hours (p=0.010). On the seventh day, the number of mitotic figures was similar for both groups. We conclude that the administration of exogenous histamine, perhaps due to the short half-life of the substance, increases the number of mitotic figures at the beginning of the process but has no effect on regeneration after 7 days.
Histamine; Liver; Hepatic regeneration