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Fibrin-mediated integrin signaling plays a critical role in hepatic regeneration after partial hepatectomy in mice

Juliane I. Beier, Luping Guo, Swati Joshi-Barve, Jeffrey D. Ritzenthaler, Jesse Roman, Gavin E. Arteel


Background. The regenerative capacity of the liver is critical for proper responses to injury. Fibrin extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition is a common response to insult and contributes to inflammatory liver injury. However, the role of this matrix in hepatic regeneration has not been determined. Objective. The purpose of this study was first to determine the role of fibrin ECM in hepatic regeneration followed by the role of the fibrin-binding ?v?3 integrin in mediating this effect. Material and methods. C57Bl/6J (WT) or PAI-1 knockout (KO) mice underwent 70% partial hepatectomy (PHx); plasma and histologic indices of regeneration were determined, as well as expression of key genes involved in hepatic regeneration. Results. PHx promoted transient fibrin deposition by activating coagulation and concomitantly decreasing fibrinolysis. Inhibiting fibrin deposition, either by blocking thrombin (hirudin) in WT mice or by knocking out PAI-1, was associated with a decrease in hepatocyte proliferation after PHx. This strongly suggested a role for fibrin ECM in liver regeneration. To investigate if ?v?3 integrin mediates this action, we tested the effects of the anti-?v?3 cyclic peptide RGDfV in animals after PHx. As was observed with inhibition of fibrin deposition, competitive inhibition of ?v?3 integrin delayed regeneration after PHx, while not affecting fibrin deposition. These effects of RGDfV correlated with impaired angiogénesis and STAT3 signaling, as well as transient endothelial dysfunction. In conclusion, these data suggest that ?v?3 integrin plays an important role in coordinating hepatocyte division during liver regeneration after PHx via crosstalk with fibrin ECM.

Key words. Liver regeneration, Fibrin(ogen), Extracellular matrix, Alpha v beta 3, Endothelial cell damage

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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