Quantitative determinations of collagen were carried out on rat livers showing cirrhosis due to p-dimethylaminoazobenzene and carbon tetrachloride.
A twofold increase in collagen content occurred in cirrhosis due to p-dimethylaminoazobenzene. The average total hepatic collagen as well as the per cent collagen content were doubled. The collagen content after 1½ months of normal diet had fallen to normal levels.
In cirrhosis due to carbon tetrachloride, the collagen content underwent about a fourfold increase. Partial reversal with significant decrease in collagen content occurred after stopping the carbon tetrachloride. The incomplete resorption of collagen in this group can be attributed to impaired hepatic regeneration following the prolonged administration of the compound.
The chemical values for collagen parallel the quantitative evaluations of collagen content, based on microscopic examination of liver sections stained for reticulum.
Deposition of collagen in hepatic cirrhosis is not necessarily an irreversible phenomenon.