Bile Salt and FGF19 Signaling in the Early Phase of Human Liver Regeneration

K.V.K. Koelfat*, K.M.C. van Mierlo, T.M. Lodewick, J.G. Bloemen, G. van der Kroft, I. Amygdalos, U.P. Neumann, C.H.C. Dejong, P.L.M. Jansen, S.W.M.O. Damink, F.G. Schaap

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The involvement of bile salt-fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19) signaling in human liver regeneration (LR) is not well studied. Therefore, we studied aspects of bile salt-FGF19 signaling shortly after liver resection in patients. We compared plasma bile salt and FGF19 levels in arterial, portal and hepatic venous blood, calculated venous-arterial differences (Delta VA), and determined hepatic transcript levels on two intra-operative time points: before (< 1 hour) and immediately after (> 2-3 hours) liver resection (i.e., following surgery). Postoperative bile salt and FGF19 levels were assessed on days 1, 2, and 3. LR was studied by computed tomography (CT)-liver volumetry. Following surgery, the liver, arterial, and portal bile salt levels were elevated (P < 0.05). Furthermore, an increased amount of bile salts was released in portal blood and extracted by the remnant liver (P < 0.05). Postoperatively, bile salt levels were elevated from day 1 onward (P < 0.001). For FGF19, intra-operative or postoperative changes of Delta VA or plasma levels were not observed. The bile salt-homeostatic regulator farnesoid X receptor (FXR) was markedly up-regulated following surgery (P < 0.001). Cell-cycle re-entry priming factors (interleukin 6 [IL-6], signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 [STAT3], and cJUN) were up-regulated following surgery and were positively correlated with FXR expression (P < 0.05). Postoperative hyperbilirubinemia was preceded by postsurgery low FXR and high Na+/Taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (NTCP) expression in the remnant liver coupled with higher liver bile salt content (P < 0.05). Finally, bile salt levels on postoperative day 1 were an independent predictor of LR (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Systemic, portal, and liver bile salt levels are rapidly elevated after liver resection. Postoperative bile salts were positively associated with liver volume gain. In the studied time frame, FGF19 levels remained unaltered, suggesting that FGF19 plays a minor role in human LR. These findings indicate a more relevant role of bile salts in human LR.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1400-1411
Number of pages12
JournalHepatology communications
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021

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