Background. Despite continued progress in the development of immunosuppressive agents, allograft rejection remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality after liver transplantation. We examined the effect of the deletion variant of hepatocyte growth factor (dHGF) on allograft rejection after liver transplantation. Methods. Male Dark Agouti rats (RT1a) were selected as donors and male Lewis rats (RT1l) as recipients for a rejection model. The recipients were divided into 2 groups after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLTx): in the dHGF group dHGF was given intravenously twice a day (1 mg/kg/day) after OLTx, whereas in the control group vehicle buffer was given intravenously daily twice after OLTx. The survival period, serum chemistry studies, and histopathologic findings were then compared between the 2 groups. Results. The mean survival period after OLTx in the dHGF group was significantly longer than that in the control group (21.4 ± 1.3 days vs 11.8 ± 0.4 days, P < .001). On the 10th posttransplant day the serum albumin level significantly improved in the dHGF group (P < .01), and the serum total bilirubin and aspartate aminotransferase levels were significantly lower in the dHGF group (P < .01 and P < .05, respectively). On the loth posttransplant day a histologic examination revealed no apparent difference in the severity of rejection between the 2 groups. The number of proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive hepatocytes in the dHGF group significantly increased (P < .01), whereas the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end labeling-positive hepatocytes were significantly reduced in the dHGF group (P < .01) in comparison with those in the control group. Conclusion. dHGF has an antiapoptotic property as well as a proliferative and protective effect on hepatocytes under allograft rejection, dHGF might serve as a novel agent for reducing the harmful effects of hepatic allograft rejection in rats.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes