Expression of hepatocyte growth factor gene in endothelial and Kupffer cells of damaged rat livers, as revealed by in situ hybridization

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1990 Nov 30;173(1):42-7. doi: 10.1016/s0006-291x(05)81018-6.


Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) has been demonstrated to be synthesized and secreted by non-parenchymal liver cells for liver regeneration after hepatic injury. We performed in situ hybridization to identify HGF-producing cell types in rat liver hepatitis induced by administrating carbon tetrachloride as a hepatotoxin. We found that transcripts of the HGF gene are localized in the Kupffer and endothelial cells in normal livers and increased remarkably in the Kupffer cells of the damaged livers. Thus, HGF is concluded to be synthesized in the Kupffer and endothelial cells to repair the liver tissue in paracrine fashion. No significant increase in the transcripts of the HGF gene was observed in livers after partial hepatectomy, indicating that a mechanism on liver regeneration after the hepatectomy differs from that on liver repairs. Since the HGF gene expression was also found in lung and kidney, HGF may be a ubiquitous factor for tissue repairs.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbon Tetrachloride / toxicity*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / metabolism
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / pathology
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA / genetics
  • Endothelium / metabolism
  • Gene Expression*
  • Growth Substances / genetics*
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kupffer Cells / metabolism*
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology
  • Male
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Restriction Mapping


  • Growth Substances
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor
  • DNA
  • Carbon Tetrachloride