Scientific publications

Cardiotrophin-1 defends the liver against ischemia-reperfusion injury and mediates the protective effect of ischemic preconditioning

Dec 25, 2006 | Magazine: The Journal of Experimental Medicine

Iñiguez M, Berasain C, Martinez-Ansó E, Bustos M, Fortes P, Pennica D, Avila MA, Prieto J.
Division of Hepatology and Gene Therapy, Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA), Clinica Universitaria and Medical School, University of Navarra, Pamplona 31008, Spain.

Ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) liver injury occurs when blood flow is restored after prolonged ischemia.

A short interruption of blood flow (ischemic preconditioning [IP]) induces tolerance to subsequent prolonged ischemia through ill-defined mechanisms. Cardiotrophin (CT)-1, a cytokine of the interleukin-6 family, exerts hepatoprotective effects and activates key survival pathways like JAK/STAT3. Here we show that administration of CT-1 to rats or mice protects against I/R liver injury and that CT-1-deficient mice are exceedingly sensitive to this type of damage. IP markedly reduced transaminase levels and abrogated caspase-3 and c-Jun-NH2-terminal kinase activation after I/R in normal mice but not in CT-1-null mice.

Moreover, the protective effect afforded by IP was reduced by previous administration of neutralizing anti-CT-1 antibody. Prominent STAT3 phosphorylation in liver tissue was observed after IP plus I/R in normal mice but not in CT-1-null mice. Oxidative stress, a process involved in IP-induced hepatoprotection, was found to stimulate CT-1 release from isolated hepatocytes. Interestingly, brief ischemia followed by short reperfusion caused mild serum transaminase elevation and strong STAT3 activation in normal and IL-6-deficient mice, but failed to activate STAT3 and provoked marked hypertransaminasemia in CT-1-null animals. In conclusion, CT-1 is an essential endogenous defense of the liver against I/R and is a key mediator of the protective effect induced by IP.

CITATION  J Exp Med. 2006 Dec 25;203(13):2809-15