Growth hormone stimulates proliferation of old-aged regenerating liver through forkhead box m1b

Hepatology. 2003 Dec;38(6):1552-62. doi: 10.1016/j.hep.2003.08.052.


The Forkhead Box (Fox) proteins are an extensive family of transcription factors that shares homology in the winged helix DNA-binding domain and the members of which play essential roles in cellular proliferation, differentiation, and longevity. Reduced cellular proliferation during aging is associated with a progressive decline in both growth hormone (GH) secretion and Foxm1b expression. Liver regeneration studies with 12-month-old (old-aged) transgenic mice indicated that increased hepatocyte expression of Foxm1b alone is sufficient to restore hepatocyte proliferation to levels found in 2-month-old (young) regenerating liver. GH therapy in older people has been shown to cause an increase in cellular proliferation, but the transcription factors that mediated this stimulation in proliferation remain uncharacterized. In this study, we showed that human GH administration to old-aged Balb/c mice dramatically increased both expression of Foxm1b and regenerating hepatocyte proliferation. This increase in old-aged regenerating hepatocyte proliferation was associated with elevated protein expression of Cdc25A, Cdc25B, and cyclin B1, with reduced protein levels of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27(Kip1) (p27). GH treatment also was found to stimulate hepatocyte proliferation and expression of Foxm1b protein without partial hepatectomy (PHx). Furthermore, GH treatment of young Foxm1b -/- mice failed to restore regenerating hepatocyte DNA replication and mitosis caused by Foxm1b deficiency. These genetic studies provided strong evidence that the presence of Foxm1b is essential for GH to stimulate regenerating hepatocyte proliferation. In conclusion, our old-aged liver regeneration studies show that increased Foxm1b levels are essential for GH to stimulate hepatocyte proliferation, thus providing a mechanism for GH action in the elderly.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / analysis
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / physiology
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cyclin B / physiology
  • Cyclin B1
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27
  • Forkhead Box Protein M1
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Hepatocytes / drug effects*
  • Hepatocytes / physiology
  • Human Growth Hormone / pharmacology*
  • Liver Regeneration / drug effects*
  • Liver Regeneration / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Phosphorylation
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / analysis
  • cdc25 Phosphatases / analysis
  • cdc25 Phosphatases / physiology


  • CCNB1 protein, human
  • Ccnb1 protein, mouse
  • Cdkn1b protein, mouse
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cyclin B
  • Cyclin B1
  • Forkhead Box Protein M1
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Foxm1 protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27
  • CDC25A protein, human
  • CDC25B protein, human
  • Cdc25a protein, mouse
  • cdc25 Phosphatases