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J Gastroenterol. 1997 Aug;32(4):496-501.

Expression of platelet-derived growth factor and its receptor in livers of patients with chronic liver disease.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Osaka City University Medical School, Japan.


To find if platelet-derived growth factor contributes to liver fibrosis in chronic liver disease, we studied the expression of the B-chain of this cytokine and its beta-receptor in livers of patients with chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis. Seventeen patients were included in this study. Five specimens of liver tissue obtained during autopsy from subjects without liver disease were used as controls. The location of the peptides was identified by an immunohistochemical technique with monoclonal antibodies. Expression of mRNA for the B-chain was assessed by in situ hybridization. Cells stained for the B-chain and expressing its mRNA were identified as macrophages. In control tissues, only a few cells were stained. In the patients' specimens, most stained cells were in portal areas and their number increased with histologic liver damage. In intralobular areas, the stained cells were seen in regions of focal necrosis. Portal mesenchymal and perisinusoidal cells expressed beta-receptor. These cells were dense in periportal areas, where many myofibroblast-like cells were seen. These findings suggest that the B-chain of platelet-derived growth factor is released mainly by macrophages involved in inflammatory reactions. This cytokine probably acts on myofibroblast-like mesenchymal cells, and may be implicated in liver fibrosis in chronic liver disease.

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