Induction of endotoxin tolerance in transgenic mouse liver expressing creatine kinase



The liver plays an important role in maintaining homeostasis during endotoxin-triggered systemic inflammatory response. To study the effects of phosphocreatine on hepatic energy metabolism after endotoxin administration, we used transgenic mice whose livers express creatine kinase (CK). CK catalyzes a phosphocreatine/creatine reaction, that is, an adenosine triphosphate (ATP) reservoir system. Because dietary supplementation with creatine leads to an accumulation of creatine and phosphocreatine in transgenic livers, we compared the CK transgenic mice fed with creatine with the normally fed CK transgenic mice. In the creatine-fed mice, hepatic ATP, energy charge ([ATP + 0.5 adenosine diphosphate (ADP)]/[ATP + ADP + adenosine monophosphate (AMP)]), and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation activities remained at high levels after injection of 10 mg/kg of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as compared with those in normally fed mice. Furthermore, there were beneficial effects on the functional reserve for ATP synthesis and work-cost performance, as calculated by free cytoplasmic ADP and the Michaelis constant (Km). Interestingly, a reduction of tissue necrosis factor α and interleukin-lα (IL-lα), and suppression of the decrease in glucose levels after LPS injection were observed in the creatine fed mice. Survival rates at 72 hours after injection of 10 mg/kg of LPS significantly increased in the creatine fed mice compared with the normally fed mice (80% vs. 24%, P < .001). Therefore, we concluded that the presence of phosphocreatine in the liver maintains energy metabolism and attenuates cytokine response, resulting in endotoxin tolerance.