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Lab Invest. 2009 Sep;89(9):1043-52. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.2009.63. Epub 2009 Jun 29.

Adiponectin deficiency impairs liver regeneration through attenuating STAT3 phosphorylation in mice.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology, Institute of Health Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.


Liver regeneration is a very complex and well-orchestrated process associated with signaling cascades involving cytokines, growth factors, and metabolic pathways. Adiponectin is an adipocytokine secreted by mature adipocytes, and its receptors are widely distributed in many tissues, including the liver. Adiponectin has direct actions in the liver with prominent roles to improve hepatic insulin sensitivity, increase fatty acid oxidation, and decrease inflammation. To test the hypothesis that adiponectin is required for normal progress of liver regeneration, 2/3 partial hepatectomy (PH) was performed on wild-type and adiponectin-null mice. Compared to wild-type mice, adiponectin-null mice displayed decreased liver mass regrowth, impeded hepatocyte proliferation, and increased hepatic lipid accumulation. Gene expression analysis revealed that adiponectin regulated the gene transcription related to lipid metabolism. Furthermore, the suppressed hepatocyte proliferation was accompanied with reduced signal transducer and activator of transcription protein 3 (STAT3) activity and enhanced suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (Socs3) transcription. In conclusion, adiponectin-null mice exhibit impaired liver regeneration and increased hepatic steatosis. Increased expression of Socs3 and subsequently reduced activation of STAT3 in adiponectin-null mice may contribute to the alteration of the liver regeneration capability and hepatic lipid metabolism after PH.

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