Sodium 4-phenylbutyrate protects against liver ischemia reperfusion injury by inhibition of endoplasmic reticulum-stress mediated apoptosis.
Evidence is emerging that the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) participates in initiation of apoptosis induced by the unfolded protein response and by aberrant Ca(++) signaling during cellular stress such as ischemia/reperfusion injury (I/R injury). ER-induced apoptosis involves the activation of caspase-12 and C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), and the shutdown of translation initiated by phosphorylation of eIF2alpha. Sodium 4-phenylbutyrate (PBA) is a low molecular weight fatty acid that acts as a chemical chaperone reducing the load of mutant or unfolded proteins retained in the ER during cellular stress and also exerting anti-inflammatory activity. It has been used successfully for treatment of urea cycle disorders and sickle cell disease. Thus, we hypothesized that PBA may reduce ER-induced apoptosis triggered by I/R injury to the liver.Groups of male C57BL/6 mice were subjected to warm ischemia (70% of the liver mass, 45 minutes). Serum aspartate aminotransferase was assessed 6 hours after reperfusion; apoptosis was evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays of caspase-12 and plasma tumor necrosis factor alpha, Western blot analyses of eIF2alpha, and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction of CHOP expression.A dose-dependent decrease in aspartate aminotransferase was demonstrated in mice given intraperitoneal PBA (1 hour before and 12 hours after reperfusion), compared with vehicle-treated controls; this effect was associated with reduced pyknosis, parenchymal hemorrhages, and neutrophil infiltrates in PBA-treated mice, compared with controls. In a lethal model of total liver I/R injury, all vehicle-treated controls died within 3 days after reperfusion. In contrast, 50% survival (>30 days) was observed in animals given PBA. The beneficial effects of PBA were associated with a greater than 45% reduction in apoptosis, decreased ER-mediated apoptosis characterized by significant reduction in caspase-12 activation, and reduced levels of both phosphorylated eIF2alpha and CHOP. Significant reductions in plasma levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha and liver myeloperoxidase content were demonstrated after PBA treatment.Reduction in ER stress-induced hepatocellular injury was achieved by the administration of PBA. Targeting the ER-associated cell death pathway might offer a novel approach to reduce I/R injury to the liver.
Vilatoba, M; Eckstein, C; Bilbao, G; Smyth, CA; Jenkins, S; Thompson, JA; Eckhoff, DE; Contreras, JL
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)