The synthesis of induced nitric oxide (NO) is regulated by several cytokines, including growth factors produced following hepatic injury and inflammation. However, little information is available on the role of growth factors in regulating the inducible NO synthase in human hepatocytes. The capacity of hepatocellular mitogens (HGF, EGF, and TGF-α) to regulate the inducible NO synthase (iNOS) was studied in human hepatocytes incubated with inflammatory cytokines and lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Furthermore, the effects of hepatic mitogens on NO-induced changes in DNA and protein synthesis was studied. It was found that NO-mediated decrease of protein and DNA synthesis were partially reversed by the mitogens. This was associated with a downregulation in cytokine-mediated hepatocyte NO formation, iNOS mRNA expression, and NOS enzyme activity. Cytokine-induced NO formation or SNAP, an NO donor, added with cytokines increased hepatocyte chromatin condensation but no DNA fragmentation was observed. The increase in chromatin condensation was partially reversed by hepatic mitogens and corresponded with the inhibition of NO production. Thus, the hepatic mitogens, HGF, EGF, and TGF-α, all suppress iNOS expression and it is the suppression of iNOS that appears to be responsible for the mitogen-reduced preservation of DNA and protein synthesis and prevention of chromatin condensation.
- Growth factors
- Hepatc regeneration