Bacterial lipopolysaccharide antagonizes transforming growth factor β1–induced apoptosis in primary cultures of hepatocytes



Incubation of primary cultures of fetal hepatocytes with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) elicited the expression of nitric oxide (NO) synthetase as well as antagonized the apoptotic cell death evoked by treating the cells with transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1). In addition to LPS, exposure of the cells to chemical NO donors also protected against apoptotic cell death when assayed at concentrations in the low micromolar range. Treatment of hepatocytes with large concentrations of NO donors promoted both apoptotic and necrotic cell death. These results suggest that NO synthesis by hepatocytes might be involved in the protection against apoptotic death.