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Abstract

The identification of cellular pathways capable of limiting ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury remains a frontier in medicine, and its clinical relevance is urgent. Histidine triad nucleotide binding protein 1 (HINT1) is a tumor suppressor that influences apoptosis. Because apoptotic pathways are a feature of I/R injury, we asked whether Hint1 influences hepatic I/R injury. Hint1−/− and C57BL/6 mice were subjected to 70% liver ischemia followed by reperfusion for 3 or 24 hours or to a sham operation. The serum aminotransferase levels, histological lesions, apoptosis, reactive oxygen species, and expression of B cell lymphoma 2–associated X protein (Bax), heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-a, Src, nuclear factor kappa B (p65/RelA), and c-Jun were quantified. The responses to toll-like receptor ligands and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase activity in Kupffer cells were compared in Hint1−/− mice and C57BL/6 mice. After I/R, the levels of serum aminotransferases, parenchymal necrosis, and hepatocellular apoptosis were significantly lower in Hint1−/− mice versus control mice. Furthermore, Bax expression decreased more than 2-fold in Hint1−/− mice, and the increases in reactive oxygen species and HO-1 expression that were evident in wild-type mice after I/R were absent in Hint1−/− mice. The phosphorylation of Src and the nuclear translocation of p65 were increased in Hint1−/− mice, whereas the nuclear expression of phosphorylated c-Jun was decreased. The levels of the protective cytokines IL-6 and IL-10 were increased in Hint1−/− mice. These effects increased survival after I/R in mice lacking Hint1. Hint1−/− Kupffer cells were less activated than control cells after stimulation with lipopolysaccharides. Conclusion: The Hint1 protein influences the course of I/R injury, and its ablation in Kupffer cells may limit the extent of the injury. (HEPATOLOGY 2011)