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Liver Int. 2015 Apr;35(4):1195-202. doi: 10.1111/liv.12634. Epub 2014 Jul 25.

The role of lipocalin-2 in liver regeneration.

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1
Department of Visceral, Transplant and Thoracic Surgery, Center of Operative Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS:

Various immune mediators such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) have been implicated in the process of liver regeneration. Lipocalin-2 (LCN2) has been recently characterized as a prototypic immune mediator produced by various cell types being involved mainly in host defence. In addition, numerous studies have demonstrated its clinical value as a biomarker. This study aimed at defining the role of LCN2 in liver regeneration.

METHODS:

We studied LCN2 expression in wild-type mice in a model of partial hepatectomy (PH). Furthermore, we evaluated liver regeneration after PH in LCN-deficient mice compared to littermate controls. Serum levels of LCN2 were assessed in a small group of patients undergoing hepatic resection.

RESULTS:

LCN2 is dramatically induced in livers and sera of wild-type mice after PH, whereas liver LCN2-receptor expression was decreased. Sham operations did not affect hepatic and serum LCN2 expression. Although LCN2-deficient mice exhibited increased baseline liver expression indices, LCN2-deficient mice did not differ from wild-type mice with respect to hepatic proliferation suggesting that this molecule is not involved in hepatic repair. Only serum IL-1β levels were slightly lower in LCN(-/-) mice, whereas IL-6 serum levels did not differ between various tested animal groups. In humans undergoing hepatic resection, LCN2 levels increased significantly within 24 h following surgery.

CONCLUSIONS:

LCN2, although massively induced in mice after PH, is not relevant in murine hepatic regeneration. Further, human studies have to define whether LCN2 could evolve as biomarker after liver surgery.

KEYWORDS:

LCN2; biomarker; hepatic proliferation; lipocalin-2; liver regeneration; partial hepatectomy

PMID:
25040147
DOI:
10.1111/liv.12634
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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