Hepatocyte hypertrophy is commonly associated with microsomal enzyme induction secondary to exposure to certain xenobiotics (Figure 1, Figure 2, and Figure 3). It most frequently affects centrilobular hepatocytes, depending upon the xenobiotic and the dose administered, although the hypertrophy can extend into the middle of the hepatic lobule or become panlobular. It is also possible for periportal hepatocytes to be primarily affected, though care must be taken not to confuse periportal hypertrophy with processes that result in shrinkage of centrilobular hepatocytes (e.g., glycogen depletion). Figure 4 is a normal control liver from the same study for comparison with Figure 3. Depending upon the specific xenobiotic responsible, hypertrophic hepatocyte cytoplasm may have a pale, ground glass appearance or be granular and intensely eosinophilic, especially following exposure to peroxisome proliferators (Figure 5). Figure 6 is a concurrent control liver for comparison with Figure 5. Marked hypertrophy with associated karyomegaly and multinucleated hepatocytes may be seen with chronic exposure to some nongenotoxic hepatic toxicants.
A narrow centrilobular zone of hepatocyte hypertrophy is present in Figure 7 (higher magnification in Figure 8). The finely granular eosinophilic cytoplasm in the enlarged hepatocytes is similar to that seen with peroxisome proliferation, but in this case the cytologic alteration responsible for the hepatocyte hypertrophy was considered hyaline change. In extreme forms, hyaline change can form distinct cytoplasmic inclusions, sometimes referred to as Mallory bodies. Figure 9 is a high magnification of the central vein area of Figure 5 and shows apoptosis of hepatocytes (arrowhead) and retention of bile pigment (arrows). Hepatocyte degeneration and cell death can occur because of reduced blood flow secondary to sinusoidal compression by enlarged hepatocytes.
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