Liver growth factor (LGF) is a hepatic mitogen purified by our group in 1986. In the following years we demonstrated its activity both in “in vivo” and “in vitro” systems, stimulating hepatocytes mitogenesis as well as liver regeneration in several models of liver injury. Furthermore, we established its chemical composition (albumin-bilirubin complex) and its mitogenic actions in liver. From 2000 onwards we used LGF as a tissue regenerating factor in several models of extrahepatic diseases.
The use of Liver growth factor as a neural tissue regenerator has been recently protected (Patent No US 2014/8,642,551 B2).
LGF administration stimulates neurogenesis and neuron survival, promotes migration of newly generated neurons, and induces the outgrowth of striatal dopaminergic terminals in 6-hidroxydopamine-lesioned rats. Furthermore, LGF treatment raises striatal dopamine levels and protects dopaminergic neurons in hemiparkinsonian animals. LGF also stimulates survival of grafted foetal neural stem cells in the damaged striatum, reduces rotational behaviour and improves motor coordination. Interestingly, LGF also exerts a neuroprotective role both in an experimental model of cerebellar ataxia and in a model of Friedrich´s ataxia. Microglia seem to be the cellular target of LGF in the CNS. Moreover, the activity of the factor could be mediated by the stimulation of MAPK´s signalling pathway and by regulating critical proteins for cell survival, such as Bcl-2 and phospho-CREB.
Since the factor shows neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects we propose LGF as a patented novel therapeutic tool that may be useful for the treatment of Parkinson´s disease and cerebellar ataxias.
Currently, our studies have been extended to other neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (Patent No: US 2014/0113859 A1).