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Cell Growth Differ. 1993 Jul;4(7):555-61.

Activation of hepatic stem cell compartment in the rat: role of transforming growth factor alpha, hepatocyte growth factor, and acidic fibroblast growth factor in early proliferation.

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  • 1Laboratory of Experimental Carcinogenesis, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


We have demonstrated previously a pronounced increase in the expression of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) (Z. Hu, R. P. Evarts, K. Fujio, E. R. Marsden, and S. S. Thorgeirsson, Am. J. Pathol., 142: 1823-1830, 1993), transforming growth factor alpha (TGF-alpha) (R. P. Evarts, H. Nakatsukasa, E. R. Marsden, Z. Hu, and S. S. Thorgeirsson, Mol. Carcinog., 5: 25-31, 1992), and acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF) (E. R. Marsden, Z. Hu, K. Fujio, H. Nakatsukasa, S. S. Thorgeirsson, and R. P. Evarts, Lab. Invest., 67: 427-433, 1992) that coincided with the proliferation and differentiation of putative hepatic stem cells and perisinusoidal stellate (Ito) cells. Here, we examine the earliest stages of stem cell activation in rat liver using an experimental model involving treatment with acetylaminofluorene and partial hepatectomy (R. P. Evarts, P. Nagy, E. Marsden, and S. S. Thorgeirsson, Carcinogenesis (Lond.), 8: 1737-1740, 1987). Histochemical identification of stem cell progeny and Ito cells was accomplished by OV6 and desmin antibodies, respectively. Expression of the 2.1-kilobase alpha-fetoprotein transcripts and the concomitant DNA synthesis ([3H]thymidine label) were used as indicators for the activation of the stem cell compartment. Expression of HGF, TGF-alpha, and aFGF was analyzed at the time of partial hepatectomy and 4, 12, 24, 48, 72, and 92 h after the operation. [3H]-Thymidine-labeled OV6- and desmin-positive cells were present in the portal space and in the Glisson capsule 4 h after partial hepatectomy.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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