Dual role of tumor necrosis factor-α in hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury: Studies in tumor necrosis factor-α gene knockout mice

Authors

  • Narci Teoh,

    1. Storr Liver Unit, Westmead Millennium Institute, University of Sydney at Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Australia
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    • N.T. is an NHMRC Postgraduate Medical Research Scholar.

  • Jacqueline Field,

    1. Storr Liver Unit, Westmead Millennium Institute, University of Sydney at Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Australia
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  • Jaim Sutton,

    1. Storr Liver Unit, Westmead Millennium Institute, University of Sydney at Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Australia
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  • Geoffrey Farrell

    Corresponding author
    1. Storr Liver Unit, Westmead Millennium Institute, University of Sydney at Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Australia
    • Storr Liver Unit, Westmead Millennium Institute, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia
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    • fax: +61-2-9845-9100


Abstract

Although hepatic ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury is partially mediated by tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF), we recently found that low-dose TNF before IR is hepatoprotective. We examined the seemingly conflicting roles of TNF in mediating liver injury in a partial hepatic IR model using TNF gene knockout (TNF ko) mice to allow TNF replacement at specified times. Compared with wild-type mice, TNF ko mice exhibit minimal alanine aminotransferase release and few hepatonecrotic lesions during the early (time, 2 hours) and late (time, 24 hours) phases of IR. TNF ko mice differed from wild-type mice in that TNF ko mice exhibited no activation or induction of nuclear factor-κ B, p38, cyclin D1, or proliferating cell nuclear antigen after IR. A single low-dose TNF injection 1 minute before the onset of hepatic ischemia restored hepatic IR injury in TNF ko mice. To clarify the importance of TNF for hepatoprotection, preconditioning (10 minutes of ischemia and 10 minutes of reperfusion) was performed before the onset of IR for TNF ko mice whose capacity to undergo IR injury had been restored by TNF replacement. Ischemic preconditioning failed to protect these mice from TNF-augmented IR injury; however, following the administration of intravenous TNF (1 μg per kg body weight, which mimics the early increase in hepatic and plasma TNF levels that is mobilized by ischemic preconditioning), significant hepatoprotection against both the early and late phases of TNF-augmented IR injury was observed. In conclusion, TNF appears to mediate both the early and late phases of liver injury in hepatic IR, but it also is an essential mediator of hepatoprotective effects brought about by ischemic preconditioning. (HEPATOLOGY 2004;39:412–421.)

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