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The role of Kupffer cells (KCs) in liver regeneration is complicated and controversial. To investigate the distinct role of F4/80+ KCs at the different stages of the regeneration process, two-thirds partial hepatectomy (PHx) was performed in mice to induce physiological liver regeneration. In pre- or post-PHx, the clearance of KCs by intraperitoneal injection of the anti-F4/80 antibody (α-F4/80) was performed to study the distinct role of F4/80+ KCs during the regenerative process. In RNA sequencing of isolated F4/80+ KCs, the initiation phase was compared with the progression phase. Immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence staining of Ki67, HNF-4α, CD-31, and F4/80 and Western blot of the TGF-β2 pathway were performed. Depletion of F4/80+ KCs in pre-PHx delayed the peak of hepatocyte proliferation from 48 h to 120 h, whereas depletion in post-PHx unexpectedly led to persistent inhibition of hepatocyte proliferation, indicating the distinct role of F4/80+ KCs in the initiation and progression phases of liver regeneration. F4/80+ KC depletion in post-PHx could significantly increase TGF-β2 serum levels, while TGF-βRI partially rescued the impaired proliferation of hepatocytes. Additionally, F4/80+ KC depletion in post-PHx significantly lowered the expression of oncostatin M (OSM), a key downstream mediator of interleukin-6, which is required for hepatocyte proliferation during liver regeneration. In vivo, recombinant OSM (r-OSM) treatment alleviated the inhibitory effect of α-F4/80 on the regenerative progression. Collectively, F4/80+ KCs release OSM to inhibit TGF-β2 activation, sustaining hepatocyte proliferation by releasing a proliferative brake.


Qingjun Lu, Hao Shen, Han Yu, Jing Fu, Hui Dong, Yao Chen, Hongyang Wang. F4/80+ Kupffer Cell-Derived Oncostatin M Sustains the Progression Phase of Liver Regeneration through Inhibition of TGF-β2 Pathway. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2021 Apr 13;26(8)

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PMID: 33924385

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