, Volume 40, Issue 10, pp 925-931

Mucosal repair and growth factors: recombinant human hepatocyte growth factor as an innovative therapy for inflammatory bowel disease

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The repair of intestinal mucosal injuries is a tightly regulated process involving epithelial restitution, cell proliferation and maturation, and the dedifferentiation of epithelial cells. Deeper injuries also require additional repair mechanisms, including inflammatory processes, angiogenesis, and extracellular-matrix deposition. Once intestinal mucosal injury occurs, numerous growth factors and cytokines, including hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), keratinocyte growth factor, endothelial growth factor, epidermal growth factor, transforming growth factor-β1, intestinal trefoil factor, interleukin (IL)-1, and IL-2, are induced in both the intestinal lumen and submucosa, and these factors cooperatively stimulate epithelial mucosal repair. HGF, a major agent promoting hepatocyte proliferation, also modulates intestinal epithelial cell proliferation and migration, leading to the acceleration of intestinal mucosal repair. Additionally, the proteolytic activation of HGF, which is mediated by HGF activator, is essential for the regeneration of injured intestinal mucosa. Recently, several studies have shown that the administration of recombinant human HGF or HGF gene therapy abrogates disease severity in several animal models of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Recombinant human HGF will soon be available for administration to patients with fulminant hepatic failure. Although additional preclinical biological studies are required, HGF has the potential to be an important new treatment modality promoting intestinal mucosal repair in patients with IBD.