Signals and cells involved in regulating liver regeneration

Cells. 2012 Dec 13;1(4):1261-92. doi: 10.3390/cells1041261.


Liver regeneration is a complex phenomenon aimed at maintaining a constant liver mass in the event of injury resulting in loss of hepatic parenchyma. Partial hepatectomy is followed by a series of events involving multiple signaling pathways controlled by mitogenic growth factors (HGF, EGF) and their receptors (MET and EGFR). In addition multiple cytokines and other signaling molecules contribute to the orchestration of a signal which drives hepatocytes into DNA synthesis. The other cell types of the liver receive and transmit to hepatocytes complex signals so that, in the end of the regenerative process, complete hepatic tissue is assembled and regeneration is terminated at the proper time and at the right liver size. If hepatocytes fail to participate in this process, the biliary compartment is mobilized to generate populations of progenitor cells which transdifferentiate into hepatocytes and restore liver size.