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Comparison of different bile acid–phospholipid conjugates in acute hepatitis

Authors


Wolfgang Stremmel, Department of Internal Medicine IV, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 410, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. Tel.: 49 6221 56 8705; fax: 49 6221 56 4116; e-mail: wolfgang_stremmel@med.uni-heidelberg.de

Abstract

Eur J Clin Invest 2011

Abstract

Introduction  The bile acid–phospholipid conjugate ursodeoxycholyl lysophosphatidylethanolamide (UDCA-LPE) is a promising novel compound with profound hepatoprotective functions in vitro and in vivo. Because of high costs of LPE synthesis from hydrolysis of phosphatidylethanolamide (PE), costs for UDCA-LPE synthesis for in vivo and human use can become quite high. In this study, we evaluated whether ursodeoxycholyl phosphatidylethanolamide (UDCA-PE), which is more cost-effective, could replace UDCA-LPE in terms of protection from hepatocellular injury.

Materials and methods  Anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory properties of UDCA-PE and UDCA-LPE were compared in TNFα/cyclohexamide (CHX)-treated HepG2 cells as well as in a mouse model of d-galactosamine/lipopolysaccharide (Gal/LPS)-induced acute liver injury.

Results  Ursodeoxycholyl lysophosphatidylethanolamide inhibited TNFα/CHX-induced apoptosis in HepG2 cells in a dose-dependent manner and markedly ameliorated Gal/LPS-mediated fulminant hepatitis in mice. In contrast, UDCA-PE showed weaker hepatoprotective functions at low concentrations, and protection was lost at higher dosage. Analysis of hepatic gene expression showed that both conjugates significantly reduced Gal/LPS-mediated expression of chemoattractants, such as monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP1) and RANTES. These inhibitory effects by UDCA-PE were transient while those by UDCA-LPE were sustained in attenuating expression of inflammatory MCP1 and RANTES expression.

Conclusions  Our data underline the superiority of UDCA-LPE compared to UDCA-PE in ameliorating acute liver inflammation. This indicates the significance of the lyso-functional group of bile acid conjugate for optimal hepatoprotection and reduction in inflammation in vivo.

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