Differential Effects of Oxidative Stress on Hepatic Endothelial and Kupffer Cell Eicosanoid Release in Response to Endothelin-1


  • This work was supported by NIH Grants DK38201 and DK 60606.

Address correspondence to Mark G. Clemens, PhD, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC, 28223, USA. E-mail: mgclemen@email.uncc.edu


Objective: The vasoconstrictor endothelin-1 can induce vasomodulators release like nitric oxide in the liver. Here the authors explored whether endothelin-1 can stimulate endothelial and Kupffer cells release of other vasomodulators under normal and stress conditions.

Methods: Cells were cultured for 24 h and treated with H2O2 (25 μM) for 6 h and subsequently with endothelin-1 (10 nM) for 10 min. Eicosanoid release was assessed in the media by enzyme immunoassay.

Results: Endothelin-1 mediated cPLA2 phosphorylation and increased prostaglandin (PG) I2, PGE2 and thromboxane A2 (TXA2) release in endothelial cells while it only increased TXA2 in Kupffer cells. H2O2 significantly increased PGI2, PGE2 and TXA2 in endothelial cells through an upregulation of cyclooxygenase-2, thromboxane synthase A2, and phosphorylation of cPLA2. Endothelin-1-induced PGI2, PGE2, and TXA2 release in endothelial cells were inhibited by H2O2 correlating with the absence of further cPLA2 phosphorylation. In Kupffer cells, H2O2 only increased TXA2 synthesis and further endothelin-1 stimulation of TXA2 was possible through a higher increase in cPLA2.

Conclusion: These results indicate that under normal conditions endothelial cells play a pivotal role in liver microcirculation regulation. Oxidative stress not only disrupts the basal balance of vasomodulators in the liver but also affects endothelin-1-induced effects in both Kupffer cells and endothelial cells.