Systems Analysis of the Complement-Induced Priming Phase of Liver Regeneration

J Immunol. 2016 Sep 15;197(6):2500-8. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1600628. Epub 2016 Aug 10.


Liver regeneration is a well-orchestrated process in the liver that allows mature hepatocytes to reenter the cell cycle to proliferate and replace lost or damaged cells. This process is often impaired in fatty or diseased livers, leading to cirrhosis and other deleterious phenotypes. Prior research has established the role of the complement system and its effector proteins in the progression of liver regeneration; however, a detailed mechanistic understanding of the involvement of complement in regeneration is yet to be established. In this study, we have examined the role of the complement system during the priming phase of liver regeneration through a systems level analysis using a combination of transcriptomic and metabolomic measurements. More specifically, we have performed partial hepatectomy on mice with genetic deficiency in C3, the major component of the complement cascade, and collected their livers at various time points. Based on our analysis, we show that the C3 cascade activates c-fos and promotes the TNF-α signaling pathway, which then activates acute-phase genes such as serum amyloid proteins and orosomucoids. The complement activation also regulates the efflux and the metabolism of cholesterol, an important metabolite for cell cycle and proliferation. Based on our systems level analysis, we provide an integrated model for the complement-induced priming phase of liver regeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cholesterol / immunology
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Complement Activation*
  • Complement C3 / deficiency
  • Complement C3 / genetics
  • Complement C3 / immunology*
  • Complement C3 / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Hepatectomy
  • Hepatocytes / immunology
  • Hepatocytes / physiology*
  • Liver Regeneration / genetics*
  • Liver Regeneration / immunology*
  • Metabolomics / methods
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Orosomucoid / genetics
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Complement C3
  • Orosomucoid
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Cholesterol