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Inhibitory effect of hepatocyte growth factor on metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma in transgenic mice.

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Second Department of Internal Medicine, Tottori University Faculty of Medicine, Yonago, Japan.


Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) has different effects on different cell types. Recently, it has been reported that HGF has an anti-proliferative effect against tumor cells including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. To clarify whether HGF inhibits the metastasis of HCC cells in vivo, we examined the metastatic potential of HCC cells into liver where HGF was highly expressed in transgenic animals. Three HCC cell lines including HuH7, Hep3B and FaO cells were transplanted into liver through the portal vein in chimeric mice or HGF transgenic mice and athymic nude mice (HGF/nude). The incidence of liver metastasis and number of metastatic tumors were significantly lower in mice expressing HGF (HGF/nude), compared with their siblings expressing no HGF (+/nude) (p < 0.05 and p = 0.002, respectively). These data suggest that HGF really inhibits metastasis of HCC cells in vivo.

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