JNK mediates hepatic ischemia reperfusion injury

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Background/Aims: Hepatic ischemia followed by reperfusion (I/R) is a major clinical problem during transplantation, liver resection for tumor, and circulatory shock, producing apoptosis and necrosis. Although several intracellular signal molecules are induced following I/R including NF-κB and c-Jun N terminal kinase (JNK), their roles in I/R injury are largely unknown. The aim of this study is to assess the role of JNK during warm I/R injury using novel selective JNK inhibitors. Methods: Male Wistar rats (200±25 g) are pretreated with vehicle or with one of three compounds (CC0209766, CC0223105, and CC-401), which are reversible, highly selective, ATP-competitive inhibitors of JNK. In the first study, rats are assessed for survival using a model of ischemia to 70% of the liver for 90 min followed by 30% hepatectomy of the non-ischemic lobes and then reperfusion. In the second study, rats are assessed for liver injury resulting from 60 or 90 min of ischemia followed by reperfusion with analysis over time of hepatic histology, serum ALT, hepatic caspase-3 activation, cytochrome c release, and lipid peroxidation. Results: In the I/R survival model, vehicle-treated rats have a 7-day survival of 20-40%, while rats treated with the three different JNK inhibitors have survival rates of 60-100% (P<0.05). The decrease in mortality correlates with improved hepatic histology and serum ALT levels. Vehicle treated rats have pericentral necrosis, neutrophil infiltration, and some apoptosis in both hepatocytes and sinusoidal endothelial cells, while JNK inhibitors significantly decrease both types of cell death. JNK inhibitors decrease caspase-3 activation, cytochrome c release from mitochondria, and lipid peroxidation. JNK inhibition transiently blocks phosphorylation of c-Jun at an early time point after reperfusion, and AP-1 activation is also substantially blocked. JNK inhibition blocks the upregulation of the pro-apoptotic Bak protein and the degradation of Bid. Conclusions: Thus, JNK inhibitors decrease both necrosis and apoptosis, suggesting that JNK activity induces cell death by both pathways. © 2005 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.




Uehara, T., Bennett, B., Sakata, S. T., Satoh, Y., Bilter, G. K., Westwick, J. K., & Brenner, D. A. (2005). JNK mediates hepatic ischemia reperfusion injury. Journal of Hepatology, 42(6), 850–859. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2005.01.030

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