B-cell activating factor (BAFF) is found to be associated with the histological severity of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). BAFF was also found to have a protective role in hepatic steatosis via down regulating the expression of steatogenesis genes and enhancing steatosis in hepatocytes through BAFF-R. However, the roles of BAFF during liver regeneration are not well defined. In this study, C57/B6 mice with 70% partial hepatectomy were used as a liver regeneration model. BAFF expression was determined by enzyme immunoassay, and anti-BAFF-neutralizing antibodies were administered to confirm the effects of BAFF on liver regeneration. Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, and florescence staining determined the expression of B-cell CCL/lymphoma 10 (BCL10). The angiogenesis promoting capability was evaluated after the transfection of cells with siRNA targeting BCL10 expression, and the role of NF-κB was assessed. The results revealed that the BAFF and BCL10 levels were upregulated after partial hepatectomy. Treatment with anti-BAFF-neutralizing antibodies caused death in mice that were subjected to 70% partial hepatectomy within 72 h. In vitro, recombinant BAFF protein did not enhance hepatocyte proliferation; however, transfection with BCL10 siRNA arrested hepatocytes at the G2/M phase. Interestingly, conditioned medium from BAFF-treated hepatocytes enhanced angiogenesis and endothelial cell proliferation. Moreover, Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), Fibroblast growth factor 4 (FGF4), and Interleukin-8 (IL-8) proteins were upregulated by BAFF through BCL10/NF-κB signaling. In mice that were treated with anti-BAFF-neutralizing antibodies, the microvessel density (MVD) of the remaining liver tissues and liver regeneration were both reduced. Taken together, our study demonstrated that an increased expression of BAFF and activation of BCL10/NF-κB signaling were involved in hepatocyte-driven angiogenesis and survival during liver regeneration.
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