Research Papers:

Distinct role of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor receptor-1 in oval cell- mediated liver regeneration and inflammation-associated hepatocarcinogenesis

Tong Ji, Gaofeng Li, Jiang Chen, Jie Zhao, Xi Li, Hui Lin, Xiujun Cai and Yong Cang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:66635-66646. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11365

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Tong Ji1,2,*, Gaofeng Li1,*, Jiang Chen2,*, Jie Zhao2, Xi Li3, Hui Lin2, Xiujun Cai2, Yong Cang1

1Life Sciences Institute and Innovation Center for Cell Signaling Network, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310058, China

2Department of General Surgery, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310058, China

3Oncology Business Unit and Innovation Center for Cell Signaling Network, WuXi AppTec Co., Ltd., Shanghai 200131, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Yong Cang, email: [email protected]

Xiujun Cai, email: [email protected]

Keywords: IL6, TNFR1, oval cell, hepatocellular carcinoma, NK cell

Received: January 01, 2016     Accepted: August 08, 2016     Published: August 18, 2016


Interleukin 6 (IL6), tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) and TNF receptor-1(TNFR1) have been shown to involve in oval cell proliferation and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development. However, their role in these processes is still unclear. In the present study, by using hepatocytes-specific DDB1 deletion mouse models, we explored the role and mechanism of IL6, TNFα and TNFR1 in oval cell proliferation and HCC development in the context of inflammation, which is the common features of HCC pathogenesis in humans. Our results showed that IL6 promotes oval cell proliferation and liver regeneration, while TNFα/TNFR1 does not affect this process. Deletion of IL6 accelerates HCC development and increases tumor burden. The number of natural killer(NK) cells is significantly decreased in tumors without IL6, implying that IL6 suppresses HCC by NK cells. In contrast to IL6, TNFR1-mediated signaling pathway promotes HCC development, and deletion of TNFR1 reduced tumor incidence. Increased apoptosis, compensatory proliferation and activation of MAPK/MEK/ERK cascade contribute to the oncogenic function of TNFR1-mediated signaling pathway. Intriguingly, deletion of TNFα accelerates tumor development, which shows divergent roles of TNFα and TNFR1 in hepatocarcinogenesis.

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