Differential Lymphotoxin-β and Interferon Gamma Signaling During Mouse Liver Regeneration Induced by Chronic and Acute Injury

B. Akhurst, Vance Matthews, K.L. Husk, M.J. Smyth, Lawrence Abraham, George Yeoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


The liver regenerates after acute injury via hepatocyte cell division; during chronic injury, when hepatocyte replication is impaired or blocked, liver progenitor oval cells mediate liver regeneration. If both regeneration options are blocked in animal models, then liver failure and death ensues. The mechanisms underlying oval cell induction, proliferation, and subsequent liver regeneration remain poorly characterized. In particular, cell-signaling pathways that distinguish the alternative pathways are unknown. This study shows that in a mouse model, hepatic expression of lymphotoxin-beta (LTbeta) and interferon gamma (IFNgamma) transcripts is increased in response to the choline-deficient, ethionine-supplemented (CDE) diet, which induces oval cell-mediated liver regeneration. Oval cells express LTbeta and IFNgamma transcripts, contributing to the increased expression in the liver of mice fed the CDE diet. An attenuated oval cell response to such a diet was observed in LTbeta receptor-, LTbeta-, and IFNgamma-gene targeted mice. Loss of LTbeta and LTbeta receptor signaling reduced the number of oval cells expressing A6 and muscle pyruvate kinase. The lack of IFNgamma signaling reduced muscle pyruvate kinase(+), but not A6(+), oval cells. In contrast, partial hepatectomy suppressed LTbeta and IFNgamma transcripts. We also show that IFNgamma induces STAT-3 phosphorylation in an oval cell line. In conclusion, LTbeta, LTbeta receptor, and IFNgamma are involved in oval cell-mediated, but not hepatocyte-mediated, liver regeneration, and the absence of these pathways impairs the oval cell-dependent regenerative response.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-335
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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