Evaluation of hepatocyte growth factor in patients with biliary atresia

Chih Sung Hsieh*, Li Tung Huang, Shin Ye Lee, Chao Cheng Huang, Ching Lin Lee, Jiin Haur Chuang, Chao Long Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a potent mitogen for mature hepatocytes in primary culture and seems to be a trigger factor for liver regeneration and proliferation after liver injury. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of HGF in patients with biliary atresia (BA). Methods: Plasma levels of HGF were determined using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay from 19 patients with BA, 10 at the time of Kasai procedure (KP) and 9 at liver transplantation (LT), and 10 patients with nonicteric choledochal cyst served as control. Hepatic HGF level was quantitatively estimated using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blotting. Hepatocyte growth factor messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of liver was measured with quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Immunohistochemical study of liver sections was evaluated by HGF staining. Results: Plasma HGF levels in LT patients were significantly higher than in KP patients (2977.30 ± 1251.42 vs 960.17 ± 559.82 pg/mL, P < .01). Western blots showed increased hepatic HGF levels in LT group than in KP group (2.02 ± 0.86 vs 1.44 ± 0.72 pg/μg total protein, P < .05). However, there were no differences in HGF mRNA expression. Immunohistochemical study showed significantly increased HGF staining in hepatocytes of LT livers than of KP livers. Conclusions: Elevation of plasma and liver HGF levels could be related to the progression of liver cirrhosis in patients with BA. Hepatocyte growth factor might have a protective role, probably through the induction of hepatocyte proliferation, during the development of BA-associated liver cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1333-1337
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - 07 2008


  • Biliary atresia
  • Hepatocyte growth factor
  • Liver cirrhosis


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