Effective treatments for acute liver failure (ALF) are still lacking. We recently reported that a single intravenous administration of serum-free conditioned medium from stem cells derived from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED-CM) into the D-galactosamine (D-Gal)-induced rat ALF model improves the liver injury. However, the specific factors in SHED-CM that are responsible for resolving ALF remain unclear. Here we found that depleting SHED-CM of two anti-inflammatory M2 macrophage inducers-monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and the secreted ectodomain of sialic acid-binding Ig-like lectin-9 (sSiglec-9)-abolished its ability to resolve rat ALF. Furthermore, treatment with MCP-1/sSiglec-9 alone dramatically improved the survival of ALF rats. This treatment induced anti-inflammatory M2, suppressed hepatocyte apoptosis, and promoted hepatocyte proliferation. Treatment with an M2-depletion reagent (mannosylated clodronate liposomes) suppressed the recovery. In addition, MCP-1 and sSiglec-9 synergistically promoted the M2 differentiation of bone marrow-derived macrophages via CCR2, accompanied by the production of multiple liver-regenerating factors. The conditioned medium from MCP-1/sSiglec-9-activated M2 macrophages, but not from interleukin-4-induced ones, suppressed the D-Gal-and LPS-induced apoptosis of primary hepatocytes and promoted their proliferation in vitro. The unique combination of MCP-1/sSiglec-9 ameliorates rat ALF by inhibiting hepatocellular apoptosis and promoting liver regeneration through the induction of anti-inflammatory/tissue-repairing M2 macrophages.
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