LIFR (leukemia inhibitory factor receptor) belongs to the family of cytokine receptors. LIFR forms a high-affinity receptor complex with gp13, which mediates the activity of LIF (leukemia inhibitory factor) and thus affects the differentiation, proliferation, and survival of a wide variety of cells in the adult and the embryo. Besides LIF, LIFR can also bind to and activate CNTF (ciliary neurotrophic factor) and CLC (cardiotrophin like cytokine). Evidence showed that in the retina, LIFR activating LIF, CT-1 and cardiotrophin like cytokine (CLC) are strongly upregulated in response to preconditioning with bright cyclic light leading to robust activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3) in a time-dependent manner. Further, blocking LIFR activation during preconditioning using a LIFR antagonist (LIF5) attenuated the induced STAT3 activation and also resulted in reduced preconditioning-induced protection of the retinal photoreceptors. These data demonstrate that LIFR and its ligands play an essential role in endogenous neuroprotective mechanisms triggered by preconditioning-induced stress. LIFR was newly found to be a suppressor of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), one of the world's top five causes of cancer-related deaths.