Aims: Although bone marrow cells are reported to migrate to the liver under circumstances of severe liver injury, the bone marrow cell type and the mechanisms in this process, remain to be clarified. We examined the involvement of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) in this process and the cell type of migrated hematopoietic cells by HGF.
Methods: The CD34+ cells and colony forming cells in the peripheral blood were examined in HGF transgenic, recombinant HGF-administered, and HGF-expressing adenovirus-administered mice. The cell type mobilized by HGF was examined by the percentages of donor cells in the peripheral blood of the recipient mice transplanted with Lin-c-kit+Sca-1+CD34+ cells and those with Lin-c-kit+Sca-1+CD34- cells. Expression of stem cell factor (SCF) was examined after the addition of HGF in MS-5 stromal cells. The numbers of the cells which were mobilized from bone marrow and recruited into liver by HGF were assessed using green fluorescence fluorescent (GFP)-chimera mice.
Results: Mobilized CD34+ cells and colony forming cells in the peripheral blood were increased by HGF treatment. The cells mobilized by HGF were mostly Lin-c-kit+Sca-1+CD34+ cells. Recruitment of bone marrow cells into liver was not suppressed in MMP-9-/- mice. Expression of SCF was induced by HGF in MS-5 stromal cells. However, expression of CXCR4, SDF-1, MMP-9 or VCAM-1 was not changed. The numbers of GFP-positive cells in liver 1 month after treatment by HGF was greater than that by G-CSF.
Conclusion: The results of the present study suggest that HGF mobilizes and recruits hematopoietic progenitor cells from bone marrow into the liver through SCF-mediated mechanism.