Background/aims: The angiogenic properties, its role in mesoderm differentiation and cell culture studies implicate an important role of fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) in liver regeneration. The aim of the study was to evaluate this role in a FGF-2 knockout mouse model.
Methods: Liver regeneration after left hemihepatectomy (partial hepatectomy, PH) was evaluated in homozygous FGF-2 deficient (-/-) mice (male C57BL/6J) and their FGF-2 competent (+/+) littermates (controls) (day 0-10).
Results: FGF-2-(-/-) mice displayed normal dynamics in liver regeneration. FGF-2 protein was overexpressed 4 days post PH in controls. BrdU incorporation showed a biphasic pattern in FGF-2-(-/-) mice, whereas it decreased continuously after one peak (day 2) in controls. In FGF-2-(-/-) livers hepatic growth factor mRNA post PH was 1 day longer decreased and markedly less elevated thereafter compared with control. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mRNA levels were clearly increased in FGF-2-(-/-) mice pre- and postoperatively in contrast to controls. VEGF protein levels in livers of FGF-2-(-/-) mice were elevated preoperatively, but similar in both groups after PH. With SU5416, a VEGF-receptor inhibitor, liver regeneration in FGF-2-(-/-) mice was reduced significantly, whereas it remained unchanged in controls.
Conclusions: Liver regeneration dynamics in FGF-2-(-/-) mice were comparable with controls, potentially due to a functional substitution of FGF-2 by VEGF.
Copyright Blackwell Munksgaard 2004