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Sci Rep. 2015 Sep 8;5:13687. doi: 10.1038/srep13687.

Natural Killer Cells-Produced IFN-γ Improves Bone Marrow-Derived Hepatocytes Regeneration in Murine Liver Failure Model.

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Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale and School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230027, China.
The Key Laboratory of National Education Ministry for Mammalian Reproductive Biology and Biotechnology, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010070, China.
Model Animal Research Center, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210061, China.
Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310003, China.


Bone-marrow transplantation (BMT) can repopulate the liver through BM-derived hepatocyte (BMDH) generation, although the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Using fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase-deficient (Fah(-/-)) mice as a liver-failure model, we confirmed that BMDHs were generated by fusion of BM-derived CD11b(+)F4/80(+)myelomonocytes with resident Fah(-/-) hepatocytes. Hepatic NK cells became activated during BMDH generation and were the major IFN-γ producers. Indeed, both NK cells and IFN-γ were required for BMDH generation since WT, but not NK-, IFN-γ-, or IFN-γR1-deficient BM transplantation successfully generated BMDHs and rescued survival in Fah(-/-) hosts. BM-derived myelomonocytes were determined to be the IFN-γ-responding cells. The IFN-γ-IFN-γR interaction contributed to the myelomonocyte-hepatocyte fusion process, as most of the CD11b(+) BMDHs in mixed BM chimeric Fah(-/-) hosts transplanted with a 1:1 ratio of CD45.1(+) WT and CD45.2(+) Ifngr1(-/-) BM cells were of CD45.1(+) WT origin. Confirming these findings in vitro, IFN-γ dose-dependently promoted the fusion of GFP(+) myelomonocytes with Fah(-/-) hepatocytes due to a direct effect on myelomonocytes; similar results were observed using activated NK cells. In conclusion, BMDH generation requires NK cells to facilitate myelomonocyte-hepatocyte fusion in an IFN-γ-dependent manner, providing new insights for treating severe liver failure.

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