Upregulation of Kupffer cell α2A-Adrenoceptors and downregulation of MKP-1 mediate hepatic injury in chronic alcohol exposure

Center for Immunology and Inflammation, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, NY 11030, United States.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (Impact Factor: 2.3). 06/2011; 409(3):406-11. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.05.007
Source: PubMed


Alcohol-induced liver disease is associated with unacceptable morbidity and mortality. When activated, Kupffer cells (KCs), the resident macrophages in the liver, release proinflammatory cytokine TNF-α, a key mediator of hepatic damage. Although chronic alcohol causes increase in norepinephrine (NE) release leading to hepatic dysfunction, the mechanism of NE-induced hepatic injury in chronic alcohol exposure has not been elucidated. This study was conducted to determine whether chronic alcohol exposure increases NE and upregulates KC α(2A)-adrenoceptors (α(2A)-AR) to cause TNF-α release. We also examined the role of mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphatase-1 (MKP-1) in this process. Male adult rats were fed the Lieber-DeCarli liquid diet containing alcohol as 36% of total calories. The animals were sacrificed after 6 weeks and blood and liver samples were harvested for further analysis. KCs from healthy male rats were cultured with alcohol for 7 days, and cells then harvested for RNA and protein analyses. Chronic alcohol exposure resulted in hepatic damage. Alcohol caused a 276% increase in circulating NE and 86% increase in TNF-α in the liver. There was a 75% and 62% decrease in MKP-1 mRNA and protein levels, respectively in the liver. In-vitro experiments revealed 121% and 98% increase in TNF-α and α(2A)-AR mRNA levels with alcohol exposure, respectively, and a 32% decrease in MKP-1 mRNA compared to controls. In summary, chronic alcohol exposure elevates NE and upregulates KC α(2A)-AR to release TNF-α. Alcohol induced downregulation of MKP-1 leads to further release of TNF-α and hepatic injury.

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