The stem cell ability to self-renew and lead regeneration relies on the balance of complex signals in their microenvironment. The identification of modulators of hepatic progenitor cell (HPC) activation is determinant for liver regeneration and may improve cell transplantation for end-stage liver disease. This investigation used different models to point out the Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (NRF2) as a key regulator of the HPC fate. We initially proved that in vivo models of biliary epithelial cells (BECs)/HPC activation show hepatic oxidative stress, which activates primary BECs/HPCs in vitro. NRF2 downregulation and silencing were associated with morphological, phenotypic, and functional modifications distinctive of differentiated cells. Furthermore, NRF2 activation in the biliary tract repressed the ductular reaction in injured liver. To definitely assess the importance of NRF2 in HPC biology, we applied a xenograft model by inhibiting NRF2 in the human derived HepaRG cell line and transplanting into SCID/beige mice administered with anti-Fas antibody to induce hepatocellular apoptosis; this resulted in effective human hepatocyte repopulation with reduced liver injury. To conclude, NRF2 inhibition leads to the activation and differentiation of liver progenitors. This redox-dependent transcription factor represents a potential target to regulate the commitment of undifferentiated hepatic progenitors into specific lineages.

Inhibition of nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 promotes hepatic progenitor cell activation and differentiation

Bellanti F.
;
di Bello G.;Iannelli G.;Pannone G.;Pedicillo M. C.;Tamborra R.;Villani R.;Vendemiale G.;Serviddio G.
2021-01-01

Abstract

The stem cell ability to self-renew and lead regeneration relies on the balance of complex signals in their microenvironment. The identification of modulators of hepatic progenitor cell (HPC) activation is determinant for liver regeneration and may improve cell transplantation for end-stage liver disease. This investigation used different models to point out the Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (NRF2) as a key regulator of the HPC fate. We initially proved that in vivo models of biliary epithelial cells (BECs)/HPC activation show hepatic oxidative stress, which activates primary BECs/HPCs in vitro. NRF2 downregulation and silencing were associated with morphological, phenotypic, and functional modifications distinctive of differentiated cells. Furthermore, NRF2 activation in the biliary tract repressed the ductular reaction in injured liver. To definitely assess the importance of NRF2 in HPC biology, we applied a xenograft model by inhibiting NRF2 in the human derived HepaRG cell line and transplanting into SCID/beige mice administered with anti-Fas antibody to induce hepatocellular apoptosis; this resulted in effective human hepatocyte repopulation with reduced liver injury. To conclude, NRF2 inhibition leads to the activation and differentiation of liver progenitors. This redox-dependent transcription factor represents a potential target to regulate the commitment of undifferentiated hepatic progenitors into specific lineages.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11369/402132
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