Relation between serum enzymes and liver histopathology in mink with hepatitis


  • Anda Valdovska Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Latvia University of Agriculture, Riga, Latvia; Institute of Anatomy and Anthropology, Riga Stradins University, Riga, Latvia
  • Mara Pilmane Institute of Anatomy and Anthropology, Riga Stradins University, Riga, Latvia



mink, liver, blood, histopathology, the Aleutian disease


The dystrophy of the mink liver is widely distributed in mink farms of Latvia. However, clinical diagnostics of the liver dystrophy is quite difficult. The hypothesis of this study was to clarify the indicators of ALT (alanine aminotransferase) and ALP (alkaline phosphatase) as the criteria in the early diagnostics of the mink liver injury. The goal of this study was to determine the potential correlation between the expressed functional indicators and the histopathology of the liver. Blood samples were obtained from ten minks, seropositive against the Aleutian disease. Liver injury was assessed histologically. Through application of the biotin-streptavidine immunohistochemical method, the presence of the hepatocyte growth factor, as well as the basal membrane components was established in the mink liver tissue, but liver apoptosis was determined by TUNEL. For the assessment of cytokines, a semi-quantitative counting method was used. The results showed the apoptosis of the hepatocytes in the whole area of the liver parenchyma. The correlation between the apoptosis and the expression of inflammation cells in the mink liver was non-existent. Constitutive release of cytokines (Hsp 70 and HGF) was detected in the liver hepatocytes centrilobular or around the periportal area. We established that have the mean correlation existed between the moderate steatosis and the weak HGF expression. Hsp 70 expression in hepatocytes was higher when moderate and numerous apoptotic cells were seen. The ALT level of the experimental mink in 40% cases was incresed above the standard. Interconnection between the degree of gravity of steatosis and the increasing of ALP and ALT levels was not found. We concluded that the simultaneous presence of the infiltration of inflammatory cells and the moderate expression of HGF detect the still maintained regeneration ability of liver despite the persisting inflammation. The increased activity of liver enzymes (ALT and ALP) does not directly depend on the damaged mink liver disorders and can be suggested only as a common indicator for the liver dysfunctioning of mink with the Aleutian disease.


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