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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2010 Jan;298(1):G74-80. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00075.2009. Epub 2009 Oct 29.

IL-22 is involved in liver regeneration after hepatectomy.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.


Hepatocyte proliferation following partial hepatectomy is an important component of liver regeneration, and recent in vitro studies have shown that IL-22 is involved in cellular proliferation in a variety of cell types, including hepatocytes. IL-22 functions through IL-10Rbeta and IL-22Ralpha. The goal of this study was to investigate the potential role of IL-22 in liver regeneration after 70% hepatectomy. Following 70% hepatectomy, done under general anesthesia in mice, serum IL-22 and hepatic IL-22Ralpha mRNA were significantly increased. Although administration of exogenous IL-22 prior to hepatectomy did not increase hepatocyte proliferation, administration of anti-IL-22 antibody before hepatectomy did significantly decrease hepatocyte proliferation. Furthermore, IL-22 treatment prior to 70% hepatectomy induced stat-3 activation; no significant changes were seen in ERK1/2 activation, stat-1 activation, or stat-5 activation. IL-22 pretreatment also significantly increased hepatic and serum IL-6 levels. In addition, animals treated with anti-IL-22 antibody also expressed less TGF-alpha. In conclusion, these data suggest that IL-22 is involved in liver regeneration and this may be due to interaction with IL-6 and TGF-alpha cascades.

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