FK506 promotes liver regeneration by suppressing natural killer cell activity

Authors


1First Department of Internal Medicine, Yamaguchi University, School of Medicine, Kogushi 1144, Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture 755, Japan.

ABSTRACT

We examined the mechanism of promotion of liver regeneration by tacrolimus hydrate (FK506), a potent immunosuppressant, after partial hepatectomy. The administration of FK506 significantly increased the bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) labelling index at 36 and 48 h after 70% hepatectomy compared with the placebo group. Using the same model, we examined the effect of FK506 on the expression of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and found no changes in HGF and TGF-β1 mRNA expression in the liver or in the HGF protein concentration in plasma. We found that pretreatment with FK506 markedly reduced the activity and number of liver-resident natural killer (NK) cells at the time of partial hepatectomy. Our observations suggest that the promotion of liver regeneration by FK506 may be attributable to a reduction in the number of liver-resident NK cells and to inhibition of their activity.

Ancillary