Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) are two factors considered to be involved in the morphogenesis of several organs. To understand the role of HGF and KGF in the stomach development, we analyzed changes in the levels of expression of the genes for the two growth factors and their receptors in the fetal rat stomach by competitive RT-PCR. Resembling our previous results for HGF, the expression of the genes for KGF and its receptor was observed in the mesenchyme and epithelium of 16.5 day fetal stomach, respectively, indicating the possibility that KGF mediates the epithelial-mesenchymal interaction in the early stage of stomach development. The developmental profile of the expression of the genes for the two growth factors and their receptors were different, indicating a difference in their roles; the genes for HGF and c-met, the receptor for HGF, are expressed mainly during the morphogenetic period, while the genes for KGF and its receptor mainly after the morphogenetic period. Thus, it is probable that HGF controls the proliferation of epithelial cells during the morphogenetic process. The expression of the genes for KGF and its receptor is not correlated with epithelial proliferation during morphogenesis, but it does appear to be linked with epithelial differentiation. These results, together with the absence of significant mitogenic effect of KGF on the epithelial cells of the fetal rat glandular stomach in vitro, suggest a role for KGF as a differentiation factor. In addition, the expression profile of the genes for KGF and its receptor towards the end of fetal period appears to be closely correlated with that of mesenchymal cell proliferation, suggesting another role for the growth factor that is not regulated by the epithelial-mesenchymal interaction.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications|
|Publication status||Published - 1996 May 24|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology