Interferon-gamma–mediated tissue factor expression contributes to T-cell-mediated hepatitis through induction of hypercoagulation in mice§


  • Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.

  • This work was supported, in part, by JSPS KAKENHI (grant nos.: 22659328, 24659806, and 23659660) and a Hitec Research Center Grant from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan.


Concanavalin A (Con A) treatment induces severe hepatitis in mice in a manner dependent on T cells, interferon (IFN)-gamma, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Treatment with the anticoagulant heparin protects against hepatitis, despite healthy production of IFN-γ and TNF. Here, we investigated molecular and cellular mechanisms for hypercoagulation-mediated hepatitis. After Con A challenge, liver of wild-type (WT) mice showed prompt induction of Ifnγ and Tnf, followed by messenger RNA expression of tissue factor (TF) and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), which initiate blood coagulation and inhibit clot lysis, respectively. Mice developed dense intrahepatic fibrin deposition and massive liver necrosis. In contrast, Ifnγ−/− mice and Ifnγ−/−Tnf−/− mice neither induced Pai1 or Tf nor developed hepatitis. In WT mice TF blockade with an anti-TF monoclonal antibody protected against Con A–induced hepatitis, whereas Pai1−/− mice were not protected. Both hepatic macrophages and sinusoidal endothelial cells (ECs) expressed Tf after Con A challenge. Macrophage-depleted WT mice reconstituted with hematopoietic cells, including macrophages deficient in signal transducer and activator of transcription-1 (STAT1) essential for IFN-γ signaling, exhibited substantial reduction of hepatic Tf and of liver injuries. This was also true for macrophage-depleted Stat1−/− mice reconstituted with WT macrophages. Exogenous IFN-γ and TNF rendered T-cell-null, Con A–resistant mice deficient in recombination-activating gene 2, highly susceptible to Con A–induced liver injury involving TF. Conclusions: Collectively, these results strongly suggest that proinflammatory signals elicited by IFN-γ, TNF, and Con A in both hepatic macrophages and sinusoidal ECs are necessary and sufficient for the development of hypercoagulation-mediated hepatitis. (HEPATOLOGY 2013)