Anti-selectin therapy against hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury



Evidence shows that leukocyte recruitment into inflamed liver sinusoids does not require selectins, with one notable exception: ischemia-reperfusion (I/R). We used intravital microscopy to directly visualize the liver microcirculation during I/R and localized endotoxemia (liver superfused with lipopolysaccharide). General anti-selectin therapy (fucoidan) or anti-adhesion therapy with an antithrombin inhibitor (hirudin) was also used. Many neutrophils rolled and adhered in postsinusoidal vessels and sequestered in the sinusoids during I/R and local endotoxin superfusion. Although fucoidan blocked rolling in both forms of inflammation, leukocyte recruitment into sinusoids was only blocked in I/R. Adhesion was also inhibited in postischemic sinusoids with a second anti-adhesive agent (hirudin). Because liver I/R inevitably induces ischemia upstream in the intestine, anti-selectin therapy may prevent intestinal injury, which could prevent downstream liver inflammation. To test this hypothesis, we completely removed the intestine and rerouted blood flow from the superior mesenteric artery to the superior mesenteric vein. I/R was induced in the liver microcirculation, and many leukocytes rolled and adhered in postsinusoidal venules and adhered in sinusoids. Although fucoidan significantly reduced the rolling in postsinusoidal vessels, adhesion persisted in the sinusoids. Our data suggest that anti-adhesion therapy is effective in liver I/R in the sinusoids and postsinusoidal venules, perhaps in part due to its beneficial effect on the intestine.