EGFR therapies for fatty liver surgery

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Surgical liver resection can cure patients with a variety of primary and metastatic hepatic tumors. Surgery on fatty liver is associated with delayed hepatocyte proliferation and increased hepatocyte necroapoptosis, leading to a markedly increased rate of liver failure, morbidity and mortality. To date the molecular mechanisms responsible for defective recovery from liver surgery in the setting of fatty liver remain poorly understood. No therapies exist to prevent liver failure or improve recovery after fatty liver surgery. Our long-term goals are to improve survival after fatty liver surgery, to provde greater rates of curative fatty liver resections, and to expand the donor pool for living-donor livr transplantation. The objectives of this specific application are to investigate two new potential therapeutic target for fatty liver recovery after resection and to extend those findings into a pre clinical large animal model. Our studies show that fatty liver expresses reduced levels of EGFR, a critical mediator of hepatocyte proliferation and recovery of liver mass and function after injur. Acute resveratrol restores EGFR expression. Both genetic restoration of EGFR and resveratrol restores survival after fatty liver resection. Based on these data, our hypothesis is that reduced hepatocyte EGFR signaling leads directly to reduced survival and impaired recovery after hepatectomy. Rescue of survival after fatty liver surgery by resveratrol is mediated at least partly by EGFR up-regulation, but also likely through other pathways. To test this hypothesis, we will: 1) investigate the role of EGFR and define its key downstream signaling pathways in the hepatocyte response to fatty liver resection; 2) investigate the EGFR-dependent and independent mechanisms by which resveratrol rescues recovery from fatty liver surgery; and 3) establish the efficacy, tolerability and toxicity of resveratrol in an obese mini-pig model of fatt liver surgery. Once these studies are complete we will have defined the extent to which EGFR and downstream pathways can restore normal liver regeneration in fatty liver and completed preclinical studies to introduce resveratrol as a potential therapy.
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