Adrenergic stimulation of hepatocyte growth factor expression

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1999 Aug 19;262(1):76-9. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1999.1183.


Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), a potent mitogen, is released into plasma at increased levels following injury to certain tissues, including the liver. Early increases in plasma HGF are not due to a release from the injured liver, but rather from distal organs, particularly the lung. We have investigated the ability of norepinephrine (NE), which rises rapidly in plasma after liver resection, to trigger elevated production of HGF in MRC-5 human embryonic lung fibroblasts. Levels of HGF released to culture media and of HGF mRNA increased when cultures were exposed to NE, or to other adrenergic agonists. While stimulation of either beta- or alpha(1)-adrenergic receptors increased HGF expression, responses to NE appear to be mediated primarily via beta receptors. Since NE has already been shown to act as a comitogen with HGF, our findings suggest that adrenergic hormones may act both to induce production of HGF at distal sites, and to enhance the response to HGF at target tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists / pharmacology
  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists / pharmacology
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Line
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / genetics*
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lung
  • Norepinephrine / pharmacology*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-1 / metabolism
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta / metabolism
  • Transcriptional Activation / drug effects*


  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists
  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-1
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor
  • Norepinephrine