Indexed on: 10 Jan '17Published on: 10 Jan '17Published in: The American Journal of Pathology
Overdose of acetaminophen (APAP) is the leading cause of acute liver failure (ALF) in the United States. Timely initiation of compensatory liver regeneration after APAP hepatotoxicity is critical for final recovery, but the mechanisms of liver regeneration after APAP-induced ALF have not been extensively explored yet. Previous studies from our laboratory have demonstrated that activation of β-catenin signaling after APAP overdose is associated with timely liver regeneration. Herein, we investigated the role of glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) in liver regeneration after APAP hepatotoxicity using a pharmacological inhibition strategy in mice. Treatment with specific GSK3 inhibitor (L803-mts), starting from 4 hours after 600 mg/kg dose of APAP, resulted in early initiation of liver regeneration in a dose-dependent manner, without modifying the peak regenerative response. Acceleration of liver regeneration was not secondary to alteration of APAP-induced hepatotoxicity, which remained unchanged after GSK3 inhibition. Early cell cycle initiation in hepatocytes after GSK3 inhibition was because of rapid induction of cyclin D1 and phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein. This was associated with increased activation of β-catenin signaling after GSK3 inhibition. Taken together, our study has revealed a novel role of GSK3 in liver regeneration after APAP overdose and identified GSK3 as a potential therapeutic target to improve liver regeneration after APAP-induced ALF.