[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lactoferrin (Ltf), an iron binding glycoprotein, is a pleiotropic molecule whose serum concentration increases under acute phase conditions. The physiological roles of this protein have been well elucidated, but the source and serum regulation of Ltf gene expression have not been investigated in detail as part of the acute phase reaction (APR). In the current work, the changes in hepatic Ltf-gene-expression during turpentine oil- (TO-) or LPS-induced APR were investigated. Ltf was upregulated at both the mRNA and protein levels in the liver of TO- and LPS-treated wild type (WT) mice. The pattern of induction however was different in both animal models indicating distinctive signalling patterns resulting in an acute phase reaction. Cytokines are the core regulators of APR. Among the major cytokines, IL-6 is an important signalling molecule, which also regulates iron homeostasis in response to an inflammatory situation. In this study, the administration of IL-6 induced Ltf gene expression in the liver of WT mice, in murine hepatocytes and in hepa 1-6 cells. Ltf-gene-expression was upregulated also in the liver of TO- and LPS-treated IL-6 knockout (KO) mice. The increase in serum Ltf after LPS injection was greater than after TO-injection both in WT and IL-6-KO mice. To evaluate the contribution of other acute phase cytokines in the regulation of Ltf-gene-expression in the liver, both in vitro and in vivo studies with IL-1β, TNF-α, or IFN-γ were performed. The results demonstrate that TNF-α and IFN-γ also upregulated Ltf-gene-expression, while IL-1β has no role in the regulation of Ltf-gene-expression.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Liver regeneration may take place after liver injury through replication of hepatocytes or hepatic progenitor cells called oval cells. Interferons (IFN) are natural cytokines with pleiotrophic effects including antiviral and antiproliferative actions. No data are yet available on the physiology and cellular source of natural IFNs during liver regeneration. To address this issue, we have analyzed the levels and biologic activities of IFN-α/IFN-γ in two models of partial hepatectomy. After 2/3rd partial hepatectomy (PH), hepatic levels of IFN-α and IFN-γ declined transiently in contrast to a transient increase of the IFN-γ serum level. After administration of 2-acetylaminofluorene and partial hepatectomy (AAF/PH model), however, both IFN-α and IFN-γ expression were up-regulated in regenerating livers. Again, the IFN-γ serum level was transiently increased. Whereas hepatic IFN-γ was up-regulated early (day 1-5), but not significantly, in the AAF/PH model, IFN-α was significantly up-regulated at later time points in parallel to the peak of oval cell proliferation (days 7-9). Biological activity of IFN-α was shown by activation of IFN-α-specific signal transduction and induction of IFN-α specific-gene expression. We found a significant infiltration of the liver with inflammatory monocyte-like mononuclear phagocytes (MNP) concomitant to the frequency of oval cells. We localized IFN-α production only in MNPs, but not in oval cells. These events were not observed in normal liver regeneration after standard PH. We conclude that IFN-γ functions as an acute-phase cytokine in both models of liver regeneration and may constitute a systemic component of liver regeneration. IFN-α was increased only in the AAF/PH model, and was associated with proliferation of oval cells. However, oval cells seem not to be the source of IFN-α. Instead, inflammatory MNP infiltrating AAF/PH-treated livers produce IFN-α. These inflammatory MNPs may be involved in the regulation of the oval cell compartment through local expression of cytokines, including IFN-α.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thy-1 (CD90) is an adhesion molecule induced in fibroblast populations associated with wound healing and fibrosis. In this study the question whether Thy-1-gene-expression can be induced in hepatic stellate cells (HSC) in vivo, under conditions of liver injury or liver regeneration was addressed. Acute and chronic rat liver injury was induced by the administration of CCl4. For comparison, cirrhotic human liver, and rat 67% partial hepatectomy (PH) was studied as well. Thy-1-gene-expression was examined also in isolated human liver myofibroblasts. Thy-1-mRNA expression was significantly upregulated in chronic liver injury. Thy-1+ cells were detected in the periportal area of rat liver specimens in normal-, injured- and regenerative-conditions. In chronic human and rat liver injury, Thy-1+ cells were located predominantly in scar tissue. In the pericentral necrotic zone after CCl4-treatment, no induction of Thy-1 was found. Gremlin and Thy-1 showed comparable localization in the periportal areas. Thy-1 was not detected in either normal or capillarized sinusoids, in isolated rat HSC, and was neither inducible by inflammatory cytokines in isolated HSC, nor upregulated in treated myofibroblasts. Based upon these data Thy-1 is not a marker of "activated" sinusoidal HSC, but it is a marker of "activated" (myo)fibroblasts found in portal areas and in scar tissue.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thy-1, a glycophosphatidylinositol-linked glycoprotein of the outer membrane leaflet, has been described in myofibroblasts of several organs. Previous studies have shown that, in fetal liver, Thy-1 is expressed in a subpopulation of ductular/progenitor cells. The aim of this study has been to investigate whether the liver myofibroblasts belong to the Thy-1-positive subpopulation of the adult liver. The expression of Thy-1 has been studied in normal rat liver, in the rat liver regeneration model following 2-acetylaminofluorene treatment and partial hepatectomy (AAF/PH), and in isolated rat liver cells, at the mRNA and protein levels. In normal rat liver, Thy-1 is detected in sparse cells of the periportal area, whereas 7 days after PH in the AAF/PH model, a marked increase of the number of Thy-1-positive cells is detectable by immunohistochemistry. Comparative immunohistochemical analysis has revealed the co-localization of Thy-1 and smooth muscle actin, but not of Thy-1 and cytokeratin-19, both in normal rat liver and in the AAF/PH model. Investigation of isolated rat liver cell populations has confirmed that liver myofibroblasts are Thy-1-positive cells, whereas hepatocytes, hepatic stellate cells, and liver macrophages are not. Thy-1 is the first cell surface marker for identifying liver myofibroblasts in vivo and in vitro.
No preview · Article · Oct 2007 · Cell and Tissue Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have applied serial analysis of gene expression for studying the molecular mechanism of the rat liver regeneration in the model of 70% partial hepatectomy. We generated three SAGE libraries from a normal control liver (NL library: 52,343 tags), from a sham control operated liver (Sham library: 51,028 tags), and from a regenerating liver (PH library: 53,061 tags). By SAGE bioinformatics analysis we identified 40 induced genes and 20 repressed genes during the liver regeneration. We verified temporal expression of such genes by real time PCR during the regeneration process and we characterized 13 induced genes and 3 repressed genes. We found connective tissue growth factor transcript and protein induced very early at 4h after PH operation before hepatocytes proliferation is triggered. Our study suggests CTGF as a growth factor signaling mediator that could be involved directly in the mechanism of liver regeneration induction.
No preview · Article · Sep 2007 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to analyse the changes of Prospero-related homeobox 1 (Prox1) gene expression in rat liver under different experimental conditions of liver injury, regeneration and acute phase reaction, and to correlate it with that of markers for hepatoblasts, hepatocytes, cholangiocytes and oval cells. Gene expression was studied at RNA level by RT-PCR, and at protein level by immunohistochemistry. At embryonal stage of rat liver development (embryonal days (ED) 14-16) hepatoblasts were found to be Prox1(+)/Cytokeratin (CK) 19(+) and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)(+), at this stage Prox1(-)/CK19(+)/AFP(-) small cells (early cholangiocytes?) were identified. In fetal liver (ED 18-22) hepatoblasts were Prox1(+)/CK19(-)/AFP(+). CK7(+) cholangiocytes were detected at this stage, and they were Prox1(-)/AFP(-). In the adult liver hepatocytes were Prox1(+)/CK19(-)/CK7(-)/AFP(-), cholangiocytes were CK19(+) and/or CK7(+) and AFP(-)/Prox1(-). In models of liver damage and regeneration Prox1 remained a stable marker of hepatocytes. After 2-acetyl-aminofluorene treatment with partial hepatectomy (AAF/PH) the amount of Prox1 specific transcripts was low in the liver, when CK19 and AFP gene expression was high, and at no time point AFP(+)/CK19(+ )"oval cells" were found to be Prox1(+). However, a few Prox1(+)/CK19(+) and a few Prox1(+)/CK7(+ )cells were identified in the liver of AAF/PH-animals, which may represent precursors of hepatocytes, or a precancerous state.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this work, we used two rat models, partial hepatectomy (PH) and CCl(4) administration, to study the changes in iron pathways in response to hepatic damage. Liver injury induced changes in the hepatic gene expression of hepcidin, hemojuvelin (Hjv), several other proteins of iron metabolism, and several cytokines such as IL-1beta, IL-6, TNF-alpha, and IFN-gamma. Hepcidin gene expression was upregulated between 4 and 8 h with a maximum up to 16 h after surgery. However, Hjv gene expression was downregulated at the same time. An early upregulation of hepcidin (3 h) and downregulation of Hjv gene expression was found after CCl(4) administration. Transferrin receptor 1 and ferritin H gene expression was upregulated, whereas ferroportin 1 gene expression was downregulated. Hepatic IL-6 gene expression was upregulated early after PH and reached maximum 8 h after the PH. In CCl(4)-induced liver injury, IL-6, IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, and IFN-gamma upregulation were found at the maximum 12 h after the administration of the toxin. Treatment of isolated rat hepatocytes with IL-6 and, to a lesser extent, with IL-1beta but not with TNF-alpha or IFN-gamma dose dependently upregulated hepcidin and downregulated Hjv gene expression. In hepatic damage, changes of the hepatic gene expression of the main proteins involved in iron metabolism may be induced by locally synthesized mediators.
No preview · Article · Oct 2006 · AJP Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanisms underlying hepatocellular damage after irradiation are obscure. We identified genes induced by radiation in isolated rat hepatocytes in vitro by cDNA array gene expression analysis and then screened in vivo experiments with those same genes using real-time PCR and Western blotting. Hepatocytes were irradiated and cDNA array analyses were performed 6 h after irradiation. The mRNA of differentially expressed genes was quantitatively analyzed by real-time PCR. cDNA array analyses showed an up-regulation of 10 genes in hepatocytes 6 h after irradiation; this was confirmed by real-time PCR. In vivo, rat livers were irradiated selectively. Treated and sham-irradiated controls were killed humanely 1, 3, 6, 12, 24 and 48 h after irradiation. Liver RNA was analyzed by real-time PCR; expression of in vivo altered genes was also analyzed at the protein level by Western blotting. Up-regulation was confirmed for three of the in vitro altered genes (multidrug resistance protein, proteasome component C3, eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2). Histologically, livers from irradiated animals were characterized by steatosis of hepatocytes. Thus we identified genes that may be involved in liver steatosis after irradiation. The methods shown in this work should help to further clarify the consequences of radiation exposure in the liver.
No preview · Article · Apr 2006 · Radiation Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) expression can resume in the adult liver under pathophysiological conditions. Orphan nuclear receptors were supposed to regulate AFP gene expression, in vitro. We were interested to study the expression of AFP and orphan nuclear receptors, in vivo.
The expression of AFP gene and orphan nuclear receptors in the liver was examined in different rat models: (a) fetal liver (b) liver regeneration [partial hepatectomy (PH) with and without 2-acetyl-aminofluren treatment (2-AAF)], (c) acute liver damage [treatment with CCl4] and (d) acute phase reaction [treatment with turpentine oil]. After PH of 2-AAF treated rats, clusters of AFP positive cells occurred in the periportal region. In the Northern blot analysis, a positive hybridization signal for the full-length AFP-RNA was observed only in liver samples from 2-AAF treated rats after PH. In real-time PCR analysis, the full-length AFP-RNA was highly up regulated in the fetal liver (maximum at day 14: 21,500 fold); after PH of 2-AAF treated rats, the full-length AFP-RNA was also up regulated up to 400 fold (day 7 after PH). The orphan nuclear receptors were down regulated at nearly each time points in all models, also at time point of up regulation of the AFP gene.
Expression of "fetal" AFP could be demonstrated during liver development and during proliferation of the so-called oval cells. Changes of expression of orphan nuclear receptors, however, did not correlate with AFP expression. Other regulatory pathways were possibly involved in controlling AFP expression, in vivo.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2006 · Comparative Hepatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Under certain conditions liver regeneration can be accomplished by hepatic progenitor cells ("oval cells"). So far, only few factors have been identified to be uniquely regulated by the "oval cell" compartment. Using macroarray analysis in a rat model of oval cell proliferation (treatment with 2-acetylaminofluorene and partial hepatectomy, AAF + PH), we identified 12 differentially expressed genes compared to appropriate control models (AAF treatment and sham operation or AAF treatment alone). Further analysis in models of normal liver regeneration (ordinary PH) and acute phase response (turpentine oil-treated rats) revealed that three out of 12 genes (thymidine kinase 1, Jun-D and ADP-ribosylation factor 4) were not affected by the hepatic acute phase reaction but similarly overexpressed in both "oval cell"-dependant and normal liver regeneration. We characterized Jun-D and ADP-ribosylation factors as novel factors upregulated in oval cells and in non-parenchymal liver cells of normally regenerating livers. However, two out of 12 differentially expressed genes were specifically expressed in oval cells: ras-related protein Rab-3b and Ear-2. On protein level, Rab-3b was increased in total liver homogenates and demonstrated only in clusters of oval cells. We postulate that Ear-2 and Rab-3b may represent novel regulatory factors specifically activated in "oval cells".
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have performed serial analysis of gene expression of the regenerating liver. In the rat model of partial hepatectomy and 2-acetamidofluorene treatment liver regeneration recruits hepatic stem cells referred to as oval cells. We analyzed a total of 153,057 tags in livers from normal control (52,343 tags), from sham 2-acetamidofluorene-treated control (50,502 tags), and from the early stage of oval cell proliferation (50,212 tags). Comparative analysis of the three transcriptomes identified 27 up-regulated and 18 down-regulated genes. Real-time PCR analysis confirmed 11 temporally regulated genes that correlate with oval cell development. Interestingly, we found by Western blot protein analysis of regenerating livers that the cell cycle gene Cdc42 was induced concomitant with the proliferation marker cyclin D1 and the oval cell marker alpha-fetoprotein. Our studies provide new insights into the molecular mechanism of liver regeneration through oval cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mx proteins are supposed to be strictly regulated by viruses or interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha). We used a non-viral model of acute liver injury to study Mx expression.
We induced toxic liver injury by CCl(4), and studied the expression of IFN-alpha, IFN-gamma, and IFN-inducible antiviral genes (Mx-2; 2'-5' oligoadenylate synthetase, 2-5 A; double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase, PKR).
Similar to 2-5 A and PKR, Mx-2 gene expression was biphasically induced after CCl(4) administration with a maximum at 24 h, and a second peak at 72 h. On protein level, Mx-2 only was up-regulated. IFN-alpha remained constant for the first 24 h while IFN-gamma peaked at 6 h. Thereafter, IFN-alpha increased to a maximum at 72 h while IFN-gamma decreased to 77+/-4%. Small monocyte-like liver macrophages, but not large macrophages, expressed Mx-2 constitutively. In vitro, IFN-alpha but not IFN-gamma induced Mx-2 in different liver cell populations. IFN-gamma, instead, reduced the susceptibility of liver macrophages to the actions of IFN-alpha.
Our data suggest that Mx expression does not invariably result from the presence of a viral particle or IFN-alpha synthesis but may represent an innate defensive armamentarium that may be up-regulated without antigen specificity upon liver injury.
No preview · Article · Apr 2004 · Journal of Hepatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a potent hepatocyte mitogen supposed to be a main stimulant of hepatocyte replication during liver regeneration. During acute liver injury, HGF has been detected in nonparenchymal cells of the liver.
We performed in situ hybridization of HGF in rat livers after administration of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4). Mononuclear phagocytes (MNP) were isolated from normal and injured livers and HGF expression was analyzed by Northern blotting, in situ hybridization, and immunoprecipitation of 35S-labeled proteins.
In situ hybridization of normal liver revealed few HGF positive cells within hepatic sinusoids. In injured livers, the number of cells containing HGF transcripts was increased at 6-24 h after CCl4. Hepatocyte growth factor transcripts in MNP from normal liver were detectable in trace amounts, but became clearly detectable at 6 h and persisted up to 24 h after CCl4 administration. In situ hybridization of MNP isolated from normal liver did not reveal positive cells. Mononuclear phagocytes became HGF-positive when isolated 6 h after CCl4. Hepatocyte growth factor protein was detected in MNP isolated 24 h after CCl4.
Hepatocyte growth factor in MNP is not directly induced by interferon-alpha, interferon-gamma or tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). Stimulated resident mononuclear phagocytes may play a significant role in the increase of HGF expression in liver regeneration after acute liver injury.
No preview · Article · Jan 2003 · Liver International
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The development of liver fibrosis due to chronic liver diseases is thought to be mediated by inflammatory cells releasing fibrogenic mediators that activate fat-storing cells (Ito-cells). Recently, the involvement of mast cells in fibrogenesis has been suggested. We studied the distribution of these cells in normal human liver and human nonfibrotic and fibrotic liver disease as well as in normal rat liver and acutely and chronically injured rat liver (CCl4 model).
Mast cells were identified by histochemical and immunohistochemical methods. The immunoreactivity of liver and comparatively of rat peritoneal mast cells to the serpins alpha1-antitrypsin, alpha1-antichymotrypsin and antithrombin III was also studied.
In normal human and rat liver, mast cells were rarely found in portal tracts, and there was no change in cell numbers in nonfibrotic human or acutely injured rat livers. In contrast, cirrhotic human and rat livers contained numerous mast cells in the portal tracts and the fibrous septa. They exhibited strong immunoreactivity to the serpins, as did rat peritoneal mast cells.
The results indicate that in the late stages of liver fibrogenesis, mast cells may be involved by displaying protease inhibitory activity in the fibrotic septa.
No preview · Article · Jun 1997 · Journal of Hepatology