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Surg Today. 2013 Oct;43(10):1081-7. doi: 10.1007/s00595-012-0418-z. Epub 2012 Nov 21.

Novel therapy for liver regeneration by increasing the number of platelets.

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  • 1Organ Transplantation Gastroenterological and Hepatobiliary Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Division of Clinical Medicine, Graduate School of University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1, Tennoudai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8575, Japan.


Platelets are the smallest blood constitutes which contain three types of granules; alpha granules, dense granules, and lysosomal granules. Each granule contains various biophysiological substances such as growth factors, cytokines, etc. Platelets have been conventionally viewed as a trigger of inflammatory responses and injury in the liver. Some studies revealed that platelets have strong effects on promoting liver regeneration. This review presents experimental evidence of platelets in accelerating liver regeneration and describes three different mechanisms involved; (1) the direct effect on hepatocytes, where platelets translocate to the space of Disse and release growth factors through direct contact with hepatocytes, (2) the cooperative effect with liver sinusoidal endothelial cells, where the dense concentration of sphingosine-1-phosphate in platelets induces excretion of interleukin-6 from liver sinusoidal endothelial cells, and (3) the collaborative effect with Kupffer cells, where the functions of Kupffer cells are enhanced by platelets.

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