Endotoxin-stimulated Rat Hepatic Stellate Cells Induce Autophagy in Hepatocytes as a Survival Mechanism.
Bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) produce many cytokines including IFNβ, TNFα, and IL6, strongly inhibit DNA synthesis, but induce apoptosis of a small number of hepatocytes. In vivo administration of LPS (up to 10 mg/mL) causes modest inflammation and weight loss in rats but not mortality. We determined whether LPS-stimulated HSCs instigate mechanisms of hepatocyte survival. Rats received 10 mg/kg LPS (i.p.) and determinations were made at 6 h. In vitro, HSCs were treated with 100 ng/mL LPS till 24 h. The medium was transferred to hepatocytes, and determinations were made at 0-12 h. Controls were HSC-conditioned medium or medium-containing LPS. LPS treatment of rats caused autophagy in hepatocytes, a physiological process for clearance of undesirable material including injured or damaged organelles. This was accompanied by activation of c-Jun NH2 terminal kinase (JNK) and apoptosis of ~4-5% of hepatocytes. In vitro, LPS-conditioned HSC medium (LPS/HSC) induced autophagy in hepatocytes but apoptosis of only ~10% of hepatocytes. While LPS/HSC stimulated activation of JNK (associated with cell death), it also activated NFkB and ERK1/2 (associated with cell survival). LPS-stimulated HSCs produced IFNβ, and LPS/HSC-induced autophagy in hepatocytes and their apoptosis were significantly inhibited by anti-IFNβ antibody. Blockade of autophagy, on the other hand, strongly augmented hepatocyte apoptosis. While LPS-stimulated HSCs cause apoptosis of a subpopulation of hepatocytes by producing IFNβ, they also induce cell survival mechanisms, which may be of critical importance in resistance to liver injury during endotoxemia.
Dangi, A; Huang, C; Tandon, A; Stolz, D; Wu, T; Gandhi, CR
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)