Background. Although studies suggest that the gut may be the 'motor' responsible for producing sepsis and multiple organ failure after injury, it is not known whether enterectomy prior to the onset of hemorrhage alters proinflammatory cytokines TNF and IL-6 and, if so, whether hepatocellular dysfunction and damage are prevented or attenuated under such conditions. Materials and methods. Under methoxyflurane anesthesia, an enterectomy in the rat was performed by excision of the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. The rats were then bled to and maintained at a mean arterial pressure of 40 mm Hg until 40% of the maximal shed volume was returned in the form of Ringer's lactate. The animals were then resuscitated with four times the volume of shed blood with Ringer's lactate over 1 h. At 1.5 h after the completion of resuscitation, hepatocellular function [i.e., the maximal velocity (V(max)) and transport efficiency (K(m)) of indocyanine green (ICG) clearance] was assessed by an in vivo ICG clearance technique. Blood samples were taken for the measurement of TNF, IL-6, and liver enzymes (i.e., SGPT and SGOT). Cardiac output and microvascular blood flow were determined by ICG dilution and laser Doppler flowmetry, respectively. Results. The increase in circulating levels of TNF but not IL-6 was prevented by enterectomy prior to hemorrhage. The reduced V(max) and K(m) and elevated SGPT and SGOT following hemorrhage and resuscitation, however, were not significantly affected by prior enterectomy. Moreover, enterectomy before hemorrhage further reduced hepatic perfusion. Conclusion. Since enterectomy prior to the onset of hemorrhage does not prevent or attenuate the reduced ICG clearance and elevated liver enzymes despite downregulation of TNF production, it appears that the small intestine does not play a significant role in producing hepatocellular dysfunction and injury following trauma and hemorrhagic shock.