The immunologic outcome of enhanced function of mouse liver lymphocytes and Kupffer cells by high-fat and high-cholesterol diet.

Department of Immunology and Microbiology, National Defense Medical College and §Division of Traumatology, National Defense Medical College Research Institute, Tokorozawa, Japan.
Shock (Augusta, Ga.) (Impact Factor: 2.87). 09/2011; 36(5):484-93. DOI: 10.1097/SHK.0b013e31822dc6e4
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Dietary lipids/cholesterol may modulate liver immune function. We have recently found that mouse F4/80 Kupffer cells are classified into phagocytic CD68 Kupffer cells and cytokine-producing CD11b Kupffer cells. We here investigate how a high-fat and/or high-cholesterol diet affects innate immune liver mononuclear cells. For 4 weeks, C57BL/6 mice were fed a high-fat and high-cholesterol diet (HFCD), a high-cholesterol diet (HCD), a high-fat diet (HFD), or a control diet (CD). High-fat and high-cholesterol diet and HCD increased liver cholesterol levels; serum cholesterol levels increased in HFCD and HFD mice but not in HCD mice. The increased proportion of natural killer (NK) cells, downregulated NK1.1 expression of natural killer T cells, and enhanced CD69 and IL-12 receptor β mRNA expression of liver lymphocytes indicate the activation of them by HFCD. IL-12 production from Kupffer cells and interferon γ production from NK/natural killer T cells activated by LPS and/or IL-12 both increased. IL-12 pretreatment more effectively improved the survival of HFCD mice relative to the survival of CD mice upon injections of liver metastatic EL-4 cells. In contrast, HFCD mouse survival decreased after LPS injection and generalized Shwartzman reaction. Consistently in HFCD mice, Toll-like receptor 4 mRNA expression of whole Kupffer cells was upregulated, and CD11b Kupffer cells proportionally increased. Although the proportion of CD68 Kupffer cells decreased in HFCD mice, phagocytic activity of them was enhanced. Mice fed with HCD rather than those fed with HFD showed features closer to HFCD mice. Thus, enhanced function of mouse liver mononuclear cells is likely dependent on the liver cholesterol level, rather than the liver triglyceride level.

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