Parenchymal cell apoptosis as a signal for sinusoidal sequestration and transendothelial migration of neutrophils in murine models of endotoxin and fas-antibody–induced liver injury



Endotoxin (ET) induces neutrophil sequestration in hepatic sinusoids, the activation of proinflammatory transcription factors (nuclear factor κB [NF-κB]) with up-regulation of adhesion molecules on sinusoidal endothelial cells and hepatocytes. However, if galactosamine (Gal) is co-administered with ET, neutrophils transmigrate and attack parenchymal cells. This suggests that a signal from parenchymal cells triggers neutrophil transmigration. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that parenchymal cell apoptosis may induce neutrophil transendothelial migration in the Gal/ET model. Treatment of C3Heb/FeJ mice with 700 mg/kg Gal and 100 μg/kg ET induced tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) formation (13.25 ± 0.75 ng/mL) and hepatic NF-κB activation at 90 minutes; the generation of the C-X-C chemokine KC (2.86 ± 0.30 ng/mL at 5 hours); sinusoidal neutrophil sequestration (380 ± 21 polymorphonuclear leukocytes/50 high-power fields) and apoptosis (925% ± 29% increase of DNA fragmentation; and a 45-fold increase of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase–mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL)-positive cells) at 6 hours, followed by transmigration of neutrophils and development of substantial necrosis (38% ± 3% of hepatocytes; alanine transaminase [ALT]: 1,500 ± 300 U/L) at 7 hours. Administration of uridine (1,000 mg/kg) did not reduce plasma levels of TNF-α and KC, NF-κB activation, or polymorphonuclear leukocyte sequestration, but attenuated apoptosis by 90% to 94%. In these livers, neutrophils did not transmigrate and liver injury was prevented (necrosis: <5%; ALT: 40 ± 3 U/L). However, massive apoptosis and liver injury initiated by the anti-Fas antibody, Jo2, did not recruit neutrophils into the liver. We conclude that excessive parenchymal cell apoptosis represents an important signal for transmigration of primed neutrophils sequestered in sinusoids during endotoxemia in vivo. However, apoptosis per se does not cause neutrophil sequestration in the liver vasculature.