A total of 100 transplanted HCC model rats were randomly divided into four groups: the sham group (n = 25), the TACE group (n = 25), the verteporfin group (n = 25), and the TACE+verteporfin group (n = 25). Rats in the sham group underwent laparotomy without any other surgery. Rats in the TACE and TACE+verteporfin groups received gradual incision of the abdominal cavity by TACE. Rats in the verteporfin group were treated with 10 mg/kg verteporfin (Selleck Chemicals, Houston, USA; verteporfin was dissolved in 20 μl of dimethyl sulfoxide and diluted to 5% using saline to reduce its toxicity). Rats in the TACE+verteporfin group received verteporfin during TACE therapy. The hepatic artery and gastroduodenal artery of the model rats were removed during the whole course of treatment, and microcatheter was inserted through gastroduodenal artery. Then, 10 mg/kg verteporfin was injected into the rats for verteporfin treatment. All treatments lasted for 10 days. After that, in each group, 5 rats were sacrificed for pathological analysis and subsequent experiments and the rest rats were used to record the survival condition. To evaluate the effects of dimethyl sulfoxide, a vehicle group in which rats were treated with dimethyl sulfoxide diluted in 5% saline was set. To investigate the molecular mechanism, vectors overexpressing YAP was constructed by HanBio Co. Ltd., Shanghai, China using the lentivirus expressing system. The lent-OE-YAP was transfected into rats via tail vein injection, while lent-OE-NC was used as the control.

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