• hepatocyte;
  • hepatocyte growth factor;
  • integrin;
  • laminins;
  • spheroid


The roles of growth factors and extracellular matrices (ECMs) in regulation of hepatocyte behaviors are very important for the establishment of liver-tissue engineering. Especially, collaboration between growth factors and ECMs is a big concern for liver-tissue engineering. In this study, the hepatocyte responses by hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) were compared between natural ECMs and a synthetic galactose-carrying polymer: poly(N-p-vinylbenzyl-4-O-β-D-galactopyranosyl-D-gluconamide) (PVLA). Hepatocytes underwent proliferation on type I collagen- and fibronectin-coated surfaces in the presence of HGF, whereas hepatocytes formed spheroid on laminin-1-, PVLA-, and poly-L-lysine (PLL)-coated surfaces in the presence of HGF without the activation of proliferation. HGF accelerated ECM deposition, especially laminin-10/11, beneath the hepatocytes cultured on PVLA- and PLL-coated surfaces and the deposited laminin-10/11 activated integrin signaling to collaborate with HGF signaling. Therefore, the deposited ECM molecules should be focused to clear the mechanism of hepatocyte behaviors in the presence of HGF. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res 2008