Evidence that reduction of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is not required for peroxisome proliferator-induced hepatocyte proliferation

Andras Kiss, Roberto Ortiz-Aguayo, Richard Sharp, Glenn Merlino, Snorri S. Thorgeirsson, Frank J. Gonzalez, Jeffrey M. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The mechanisms underlying peroxisome proliferator-induced hepatocarcinogenesis are not understood. Because of the uncertainty of human cancer risk associated with peroxisome proliferators, delineating the mechanisms of carcinogenesis by these agents is of great interest. Alterations in liver growth factors were postulated to contribute to the carcinogenic effect of peroxisome proliferators. Administration of these compounds to rodents results in down-regulation of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and supplementing culture medium with HGF is reported to suppress cell proliferation of preneoplastic and neoplastic cells from WY-14,643-treated livers. Combined, these observations suggest that reduced levels of hepatic HGF contribute to the mechanisms underlying peroxisome proliferator-induced hepatocarcinogenesis. To determine if HGF can prevent the effects of peroxisome proliferators in liver, the short-term influence of WY-14,643 in two different lines of HGF transgenic mice was examined. Mice were fed either a control diet or one containing 0.1% WY-14-643 for one week. Hepatomegaly was found in both HGF transgenic mouse lines fed WY-14,643 compared with controls. Additionally, hepatic expression of typical mRNA markers of peroxisome proliferation including those encoding peroxisomal fatty acid metabolizing enzymes and cell cycle control proteins were all significantly elevated in HGF transgenic mice fed WY-14,643 compared with controls. Down-regulation of HGF was found to be dependent on PPARα since lower levels of HGF mRNA and protein were observed in wild-type mice fed WY-14,643 for 1 week and not in similarly treated PPARα-null mice. These results demonstrate that the early increase in hepatic mRNAs associated with peroxisome and cell proliferation induced by WY-14,643 treatment can not be prevented by overexpression of HGF in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)975-979
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cancer Research


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