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Nature and mechanisms of hepatocyte apoptosis induced by D-galactosamine/lipopolysaccharide challenge in mice

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Apoptosis plays a role in the normal development of liver. However, overactivation thereof may lead to hepatocellular damage. The aim of this study was to assess D-galactosamine (D-GalN)/lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced hepatocyte apoptotic changes in mice and clarify the mechanisms involved in this process. DNA ladder detection was employed to determine the induction condition of hepatic apoptosis. An initial test indicated that typical hepatocyte apoptosis was observed at 6-10 h after the intraperitoneal injection of D-GalN (700 mg/kg) and LPS (10 µg/kg). Subsequently, we evaluated hepatocyte apoptosis at 8 h after administering D-GalN/LPS by histopathological analysis, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick endlabeling (TUNEL) detection, flow cytometry and electron microscopy analysis. To clarify the apoptosis-related gene expression, the expression levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), caspase-3, and Fas/Fas ligand (FasL) were determined by serum enzyme immunoassay, immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis. Strong apoptotic positive signals following D-GalN/LPS injection were observed from the results of the serum analysis, histopathological and immunohistochemical analyses, DNA ladder detection, TUNEL detection, flow cytometry and electron microscopy analysis. Additionally, apoptotic hepatocytes were mainly at the late stage of cell apoptosis. The expression of TNF-α, TGF-β1, caspase-3 and Fas/FasL was significantly increased. In conclusion, this study evaluated the D-GalN/LPS-induced hepatocyte apoptotic changes and clarified the apoptosis-related gene expression in mice. The hepatocyte apoptosis induced by D-GalN/LPS may be mainly regulated by the death receptor pathway. TGF-β signaling pathway may also play a vital role in this process of hepatocyte apoptosis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Biometrology and Inspection and Quarantine, Department of Pharmacy, College of Life Sciences, China Jiliang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310018, P.R. China 2: State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310003, P.R. China

Publication date: June 1, 2014

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  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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