Splenectomy after partial hepatectomy accelerates liver regeneration in mice by promoting tight junction formation via polarity protein Par 3-aPKC

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Several experimental studies have demonstrated that removal of the spleen accelerates liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy. While the mechanism of splenectomy promotes liver regeneration by the improvement of the formation of tight junction and the establishment of hepatocyte polarity is still unknown.

Main methods:

We analyzed the cytokines, genes and proteins expression between 70% partial hepatectomy mice (PHx) and simultaneous 70% partial hepatectomy and splenectomy mice (PHs) at predetermined timed points.

Key findings:

Compared with the PHx group mice, splenectomy accelerated hepatocyte proliferation in PHs group. The expression of Zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) indicated that splenectomy promotes the formation of tight junction during liver regeneration. TNF-α, IL-6, HGF, TSP-1 and TGF-β1 were essential factors for the formation of tight junction and the establishment of hepatocytes polarity in liver regeneration. After splenectomy, Partitioning defective 3 homolog (Par 3) and atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) regulate hepatocyte localization and junctional structures in regeneration liver.


Our data suggest that the time course expression of TNF-α, IL-6, HGF, TSP-1, and TGF-β1 and the change of platelets take part in liver regeneration. Combination with splenectomy accelerates liver regeneration by improvement of the tight junction formation which may help to establish hepatocyte polarity via Par 3-aPKC. This may provide a clue for us that splenectomy could accelerate liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy of hepatocellular carcinoma and living donor liver transplantation.

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