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Resident macrophages in the liver (Kupffer cells) produce various cytokines and chemokines, and have important roles in hepatitis and liver fibrosis. The cells are activated by various factors, for example lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which is an endotoxin and is high in the blood of patients with liver cirrhosis. Involvement of P2 receptors in the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines from Kupffer cells is little. In this study, we investigated purinergic signaling in the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-6 and TNF-α, from liver Kupffer cells of C57BL/6 mice (KUP5 cells). KUP5cells were isolated from C57BL/6 mice and cultivated with Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium. The cells were stimulated with LPS. LPS-induced IL-6 production by KUP5 cells was suppressed significantly by pretreatments with non-selective P2 antagonist suramin, P2Y13antagonist MRS2211, and ecto-nucleotidase, whereas P2Y receptor agonists, significantly increased the IL-6 production. P2Y13knockdown reduced LPS-induced IL-6 production, but by less than 50%. These results would suggest that P2Y receptors including P2Y13and others, may involves in LPS-induced IL-6 production in Kupffer cells, leading to the liver inflammation. Therefore, we first showed the importance of purinergic signaling via P2Y receptors in the activation of Kupffer cells and liver injury, which is worthwhile in drug development for liver diseases.


Makiko Ishimaru, Negishi Yusuke, Mitsutoshi Tsukimoto, Hitoshi Harada, Takato Takenouchi, Hiroshi Kitani, Shuji Kojima. Purinergic signaling via P2Y receptors up-mediates IL-6 production by liver macrophages/Kupffer cells. The Journal of toxicological sciences. 2014 Jun;39(3):413-23

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PMID: 24849676

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