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Endocr J. 2002 Jun;49(3):273-84.

Hepatocyte growth factor as cardiovascular hormone: role of HGF in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease.

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  • 1Department of Geriatric Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Suita 565-0871, Japan.


Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a mesenchyme-derived pleiotropic factor which regulates cell growth, cell motility, and morphogenesis of various types of cells, and is thus considered a humoral mediator of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions responsible for morphogenic tissue interactions during embryonic development and organogenesis. Although HGF was originally identified as a potent mitogen for hepatocytes, HGF has also been identified as a member of angiogenic growth factors. Interestingly, the presence of its specific receptor, c-met, is observed in vascular cells, endothelial cells and cardiac myocytes. In addition, the mitogenic action of HGF on human endothelial cells was most potent among growth factors. Recent studies have demonstrated the potential application of HGF to treat cardiovascular disease such as peripheral vascular disease, myocardial infarction and restenosis after angioplasty. On the other hand, serum HGF concentration was significantly correlated with blood pressure. These results suggest that HGF secretion might be elevated in response to high blood pressure as a counter-system against endothelial dysfunction, and may be considered as an index of severity of hypertension. In this review, we discussed the potential role of HGF in cardiovascular disease.

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