Hepatotrophic Activities of HGF in Liver Regeneration after Injury and the Clinical Potentiality for Liver Diseases

  • Uichi Koshimizu
  • Kunio Matsumoto
  • Toshikazu Nakamura


One of an intriguing, unique property of mammalian liver is its matchless ability to regenerate following injury and to preserve its own optimal size (reviewed in [1]). When 70% of the rat liver is resected, the original liver mass and their functions are almost restored within 10 days. Although there were few cells (no less than 0.1%) undergoing DNA synthesis in the intact liver, hepatocytes begin to proliferate actively when the liver is subjected to several kinds of injury, such as hepatoectomy, ischemia, and hepatitis. It had long been postulated that quiescent hepatocytes were induced to grow by a humoral factor, but its molecular nature remained unknown. We identified and purified a potent mitogenic factor for adult rat hepatocytes, named hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)[2–4]. Molecular cloning of both human and rat HGF cDNAs was achieved in 1989–1990, showing that HGF was a novel growth factor distinct from other known cytokines [5–7]. From our concurrent studies, HGF is now recognised as long-sought, genuine hepatrophic factor functioning in liver regeneration (reviewed in [8–11]). In this chapter we present our work concerning the mechanisms of liver regeneration by HGF and the effective action of HGF for several hepatic dysfunction in vivo.


Hepatocyte Growth Factor Liver Regeneration Hepatocyte Growth Factor Level Serum Hepatocyte Growth Factor Human Hepatocyte Growth Factor 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uichi Koshimizu
    • 1
  • Kunio Matsumoto
    • 1
  • Toshikazu Nakamura
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Biochemistry, Biomedical Research CenterOsaka University Medical SchoolSuita, Osaka 565Japan

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