Polyploidy control in hepatic health and disease

J Hepatol. 2021 Nov;75(5):1177-1191. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.06.030. Epub 2021 Jul 3.


A balanced increase in DNA content (ploidy) is observed in some human cell types, including bone-resorbing osteoclasts, platelet-producing megakaryocytes, cardiomyocytes or hepatocytes. The impact of increased hepatocyte ploidy on normal physiology and diverse liver pathologies is still poorly understood. Recent findings suggest swift genetic adaptation to hepatotoxic stress and the protection from malignant transformation as beneficial effects. Herein, we discuss the molecular mechanisms regulating hepatocyte polyploidisation and its implication for different liver diseases and hepatocellular carcinoma. We report on centrosomes' role in limiting polyploidy by activating the p53 signalling network (via the PIDDosome multiprotein complex) and we discuss the role of this pathway in liver disease. Increased hepatocyte ploidy is a hallmark of hepatic inflammation and may play a protective role against liver cancer. Our evolving understanding of hepatocyte ploidy is discussed from the perspective of its potential clinical application for risk stratification, prognosis, and novel therapeutic strategies in liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Keywords: HCC; Hepatocyte; PIDDosome; Polyploidy; inflammatory liver disease; p53.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / physiopathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Polyploidy*
  • Prognosis
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / genetics