Fine balanced sequential changes of the levels of circulating hepatotrophic factors are essential for normal liver regeneration. Our recent studies have indicated that liver-resident natural killer (NK) cells are important regulators of liver regeneration and have raised the possibility that hepatotrophic factors might mediate their activities through NK cells. In the present study, we assessed the effects of in vivo administration of three hepatotrophic factors (augmenter of liver regeneration [ALR], insulin- like growth factor-II [IGF-II], and hepatocyte growth factor [HGF]) on NK cells in normal rats. Each of the three, given over a 1-day period in doses known to produce hepatotrophic activity, induced inhibition of NK cell cytotoxic activities in the population of mononuclear leukocytes (MNL) in the liver, but not in MNL from the spleen or peripheral blood. In contrast to these results obtained by the whole animal treatment, the three molecules had no effect on NK cell functions when added to cultures of MNL from the livers, spleens, or blood of untreated rats. These data support and extend our previously advanced hypothesis that ALR and other hepatotrophic factors play an important role in liver regeneration by regional regulation of NK cells through some as-yet-unknown intermediary mechanism.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 1997|
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