Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) can induce proliferation of sinusoidal endothelial cells. Its mRNA expression was increased in proliferating rat hepatocytes in primary culture. To clarify a role of VEGF in liver after necrosis, expressions of VEGF and its receptors were measured in the liver or liver cells isolated from rats after carbon tetrachloride intoxication. Hepatic VEGF mRNA expression increased later than 24 h after the intoxication and became prominent at 168 h when liver necrosis disappeared, while hepatic mRNA expressions of its receptors increased between 24 and 72 h. VEGF mRNA expression was increased in Kupffer cells, hepatic macrophages and stellate cells isolated from rats between 24 and 72 h after the intoxication and in hepatocytes at 168 h compared to those cells from normal rats. Immunohistochemical VEGF stains were comparable to such results. Vascular endothelial cells existed abundantly in the necrotic areas, and sinusoidal endothelial cells appeared following disappearance of the necrotic areas. VEGF mRNA expression in hepatocytes isolated from 70% resected liver was increased at 12 h after the operation and became marked between 72 and 168 h. Similar increase of hepatic VEGF expression was immunohistochemically seen. In conclusion, VEGF derives from nonparenchymal as well as parenchymal cells in rat liver after necrosis. The former might contribute to vascular endothelial cell proliferation and the latter to sinusoidal endothelial cell regeneration.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.