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Dig Dis Sci. 1996 Oct;41(10):1939-46.

Role of macrophages in regeneration of liver.

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Department of Internal Medicine (II), Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.


In an attempt to clarify the role of macrophages and their mediators during regeneration of the liver, the difference of liver regeneration among C3H/HeN (LPS-responsive strain) and C3H/HeJ (LPS-resistant strain) mice was investigated. After a 67% partial hepatectomy, an increase in the weight of regenerating liver was significantly delayed in the C3H/HeJ mice, as compared with C3H/HeN mice. The number of hepatocytes labeled with antibody against PCNA reached maximum levels 48 hr after partial hepatectomy, but the PCNA labeling index in C3H/HeJ mice was 20% less than that for C3H/HeN mice. In addition, TNF-alpha activities in serum were enhanced shortly after partial hepatectomy in C3H/HeN strain mice, but were not increased in C3H/HeJ strain mice. Serum IL-6 levels were markedly enhanced in both C3H/HeN and C3H/HeJ mice, but a bimodial peak (14 and 48 hr after partial hepatectomy) was demonstrated in C3H/HeN mice, in contrast to a single peak (at 24 hr) in C3H/HeJ mice. Suppression of Kupffer cells by previous administration of gadolinium chloride in C3H/HeN mice reduced the increase in both serum TNF-alpha and IL-6 concentrations, reduced PCNA labeling index of hepatocytes by 20%, and disturbed the regeneration of the liver. Previous administration of antibody against TNF-alpha reduced the PCNA labeling index of hepatocytes by 20% after partial hepatectomy in C3H/HeN strain mice. These results suggest that LPS-responsive macrophages in the liver and their mediators, especially TNF-alpha, could partly play a role in liver regeneration.

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