BACKGROUND & AIMS: Modifying the afferent blood supply to the liver does not change the zonal expression pattern of hepatic enzymes in the rat. METHODS: We used pulmonary trunk banding (PTB) to study the effect of an efferent hindrance of blood flow on hepatic architecture and zonation of gene expression. RESULTS: Most PTB rats developed right ventricular hypertrophy and congestive heart failure. The hepatic response to PTB developed concomitantly with the decline in heart function. Enzyme expression in the periportal region was not affected, but the pericentral rim of hepatocytes expressing glutamine synthetase, ornithine aminotransferase, and NADPH cytochrome P-450 reductase (CYPred) first declined in diameter, then became discontinuous, and finally disappeared. Meanwhile, ornithine aminotransferase and especially CYPred, became re-expressed in the periportal zone. These changes occurred without appreciable cell death or fibrotic changes; the expression of fibronectin and alpha-smooth muscle actin increased perisinusoidally, but that of collagen did not. Electron microscopic analysis revealed normal fenestration of the sinusoidal endothelial cells without detectable deposition of basement membrane material, but both the width of the space of Disse and the length and number of hepatic microvilli were significantly reduced, implying a decreased flow of fluid in the space of Disse. CONCLUSIONS: The reprogramming of gene expression in livers with a postsinusoidal hindrance of blood flow results from declining access of the hepatocytes to intrasinusoidal signal-transduction molecules and suggest that the impaired biotransformation that accompanies right ventricular failure is caused by a central-to-portal shift in expression of the corresponding enzymes.