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Reuters Health Information (2007-03-30): Neurotrophin receptor regulates liver repair


Neurotrophin receptor regulates liver repair

Last Updated: 2007-03-30 11:12:48 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Neurotrophin receptor p75NTR, a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor family, plays a key role in guiding the hepatic stellate cell (HSCs) differentiation that occurs during repair of fibrotic and cirrhotic liver injury, new research shows.

Following liver injury, HSCs differentiate into extracellular matrix- and growth factor-producing cells, which promote the hepatocyte proliferation needed for liver regeneration, according to the report in the March 30th issue of Science. However, the regulation of HSC differentiation was unclear.

Using various techniques, Dr. Katerina Akassoglou and colleagues, from the University of California in San Diego, and show that liver disease is worsened and hepatocyte proliferation is impaired in the absence of p75NTR.

Further analysis showed that HSCs lacking p75NTR were unable to differentiate into myofibroblasts and support hepatocyte proliferation, the report indicates. p75NTR signaling appeared to be mediated through the small guanosine triphosphatase Rho.

"Our results identify signaling from p75NTR to Rho as a mechanism for the regulation of HSC differentiation to regeneration-promoting cells that support hepatocyte proliferation in the diseased liver," the investigators conclude.

Science 2007;315:1853-1856.

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