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    Insulin-Like Growth Factor and Epidermal Growth Factor Treatment: New Approaches to Protecting Steatotic Livers against Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury

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    Hepatic steatosis is a major risk factor in ischemia-reperfusion (I/R). IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) modulate IGF-I action by transporting circulating IGF-I to its sites of action. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) stimulates IGF-I synthesis in vitro. We examined the effect of IGF-I and EGF treatment, separately or in combination, on the vulnerability of steatotic livers to I/R. Our results indicated that I/R impaired IGF-I synthesis only in steatotic livers. Only when a high dose of IGF-I (400 ╬╝g/kg) was given to obese animals did they show high circulating IGF-I:IGFBP levels, increased hepatic IGF-I levels, and protection against damage. In lean animals, a dose of 100 ╬╝g/kg IGF-I protected nonsteatotic livers. Our results indicated that the combined administration of IGF-I and EGF resulted in hepatic injury parameters in both liver types similar to that obtained by IGF-I and EGF separately. IGF-I increased egf expression in both liver types. The beneficial role of EGF on hepatic I/R injury may be attributable to p38 inhibition in nonsteatotic livers and to PPAR╬│ overexpression in steatotic livers. In conclusion, IGF-I and EGF may constitute new pharmacological strategies to reduce the inherent susceptibility of steatotic livers to I/R injury