Specific activation of AP-1 but not Stat3 in regenerating liver in mice


Markus H. Heim Department of Research, University Hospital Basle, Petersgraben 4, CH-4031 Basle, Switzerland.


Liver regeneration following partial hepatectomy is regulated by hepatotrophic factors whose precise roles are still elusive. In cell culture studies, some of them have been shown to activate members of the family of the signal transducers and activators of transcription (Stat). To test this contention in vivo, nuclear extracts were isolated from livers of partially hepatectomized and sham-operated mice killed at 30 different time points between zero and 108 h after surgery. Stat3 DNA binding is rapidly induced after surgery in both partially hepatectomized and sham-operated mice. Maximum activation of Stat3 is achieved 4–6 h after resection, and elevated Stat3 activation is detected as late as 60 h after surgery in both groups. Activated Stat5 is found sporadically in both sham-operated and resected mice but appears to be absent in the first 12 h after partial hepatectomy. Neither Stat1, Stat2, Stat4 nor Stat6 is induced during the time of observation. In contrast, AP-1 DNA binding activity is specifically induced in regenerating mouse liver.