Design of study protocols.
(A) Study Protocol I. Balb/c mice were included in a 16-week protocol for induction of liver cirrhosis by oral administration of CCl4. A subgroup of animals (six CCl4-treated and four control mice) was subjected to laparotomy at different study weeks to follow progression of fibrosis, inflammation, bactDNA translocation and NE hepatic levels. CCl4: carbon tetrachloride; ig.: intragastrically. (B) Study Protocol II. CCl4-treated Balb/c mice were distributed to receive saline, 6-OHD for sympathetic denervation, Nebivolol for beta-adrenergic receptor (ADRB)-1 blockade, or Butoxamine for ADRB-2 blockade. Within each group, animals were further distributed to receive saline or E. coli-DNA. Laparotomies were performed in all subgroups. CCl4: carbon tetrachloride; ip: intraperitoneally; 6-OHD: 6-hydroxydopamine; sc: subcutaneously;