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Virchows Arch. 2006 Jan;448(1):46-51. Epub 2005 Sep 29.

Expression of protease-activated receptors and tissue factor in human liver.

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  • 1GREF/INSERM E362, UniversitĂ© Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, 146, Rue LĂ©o Saignat, Bordeaux 33076, France.


Thrombin, acting via protease-activated receptors (PARs), and tissue factor (TF) are involved in inflammation, tissue repair and tumorigenesis. Hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) usually complicate chronic liver diseases characterised by inflammation and fibrosis. The aim of this study was to describe the expression of PARs and TF in normal liver, cirrhosis and HCCs. We performed an immunohistochemical detection of PAR-1, PAR-3, PAR-4 and human TF in human tissue samples from 19 subnormal livers, 33 cirrhosis and 30 HCCs. PAR-1 was found on endothelial cells of sinusoids and larger vessels. In cirrhosis, spindle-shaped cells within septa and T lymphocytes were PAR-1 positive. A few PAR-1-positive tumour cells were found in 10% of HCCs. PAR-4 expression was restricted to macrophages, B lymphocytes and nerves. PAR-3 expression was rare. Unexpectedly, TF was expressed in 95% of normal livers and in 94% of cirrhosis but only in 50% of HCCs (p<0.001). Staining was mostly hepatocellular. No association existed between TF labelling and clinicopathological characteristics of HCCs. In conclusion, the pattern of expression of PARs is compatible with its role in chronic liver disease by promoting inflammation via immune cells and neurogenic stimulation. However, our data do not support a role for PARs or TF in HCC progression.

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