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See detailChemokine Cxcl9 attenuates liver fibrosis-associated angiogenesis in mice
Moreno Zaldivar, Mirko UL; Sahin, Hacer; Borkham-Kamphorst, Erawan et al

in Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.) (2012), 55(5), 1610-1619

Recent data suggest that the chemokine receptor CXCR3 is functionally involved in fibroproliferative disorders, including liver fibrosis. Neoangiogenesis is an important pathophysiological feature of ... [more ▼]

Recent data suggest that the chemokine receptor CXCR3 is functionally involved in fibroproliferative disorders, including liver fibrosis. Neoangiogenesis is an important pathophysiological feature of liver scarring, but a functional role of angiostatic CXCR3 chemokines in this process is unclear. We therefore investigated neoangiogenesis in carbon tetrachloride (CCl 4)-induced liver fibrosis in Cxcr3 -/- and wildtype mice by histological, molecular, and functional imaging methods. Furthermore, we assessed the direct role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) overexpression on liver angiogenesis and the fibroproliferative response using a Tet-inducible bitransgenic mouse model. The feasibility of attenuation of angiogenesis and associated liver fibrosis by therapeutic treatment with the angiostatic chemokine Cxcl9 was systematically analyzed in vitro and in vivo. The results demonstrate that fibrosis progression in Cxcr3 -/- mice was strongly linked to enhanced neoangiogenesis and VEGF/VEGFR2 expression compared with wildtype littermates. Systemic VEGF overexpression led to a fibrogenic response within the liver and was associated with a significantly increased Cxcl9 expression. In vitro, Cxcl9 displayed strong antiproliferative and antimigratory effects on VEGF-stimulated endothelial cells and stellate cells by way of reduced VEGFR2 (KDR), phospholipase Cγ (PLCγ), and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation, identifying this chemokine as a direct counter-regulatory molecule of VEGF signaling within the liver. Accordingly, systemic administration of Cxcl9 led to a strong attenuation of neoangiogenesis and experimental liver fibrosis in vivo. Conclusion: The results identify direct angiostatic and antifibrotic effects of the Cxcr3 ligand Cxcl9 in a model of experimental liver fibrosis. The amelioration of liver damage by systemic application of Cxcl9 might offer a novel therapeutic approach for chronic liver diseases associated with increased neoangiogenesis. © 2011 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. [less ▲]

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See detailInterleukin-27 displays interferon-gamma-like functions in human hepatoma cells and hepatocytes.
Bender, Herdis; Wiesinger, Monique UL; Nordhoff, Carolin et al

in Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.) (2009), 50(2), 585-91

Interleukin-27 (IL-27) is a cytokine belonging to the IL-6/IL-12 cytokine family. It is secreted by antigen-presenting cells, strongly acts on T cells, and also stimulates innate immune cells. In most ... [more ▼]

Interleukin-27 (IL-27) is a cytokine belonging to the IL-6/IL-12 cytokine family. It is secreted by antigen-presenting cells, strongly acts on T cells, and also stimulates innate immune cells. In most studies, the effects of IL-27 on T cells were investigated; however, not much is known about possible effects of IL-27 on other cell types. IL-27 signals via the common IL-6-type cytokine receptor chain gp130 and the IL-27-specific chain WSX-1. Given the importance of gp130 in regulating liver responses such as the acute phase response or liver regeneration, we investigated whether IL-27 could also have a function in liver cells. We find that IL-27 stimulates hepatoma cells and hepatocytes by inducing a sustained signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)1 and STAT3 activation. Whereas the STAT3 mediated responses to IL-27 (gamma-fibrinogen and hepcidin induction) are not detectable, we observe an interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)-like STAT1 response leading to the induction of interferon-regulated proteins such as STAT1, STAT2, interferon response factor (IRF)-1, IRF-9, myxovirus resistance A and guanylate binding protein 2. CONCLUSION: Our study provides evidence for a function of IL-27 in hepatoma cells and hepatocytes and shows that IL-27 responses are not restricted to the classical immune cells. Our results suggest that IL-27 exerts IFN-like functions in liver cells and that it can contribute to the antiviral response in these cells. [less ▲]

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See detailHypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha is up-regulated by oncostatin M and participates in oncostatin M signaling
Vollmer, Stefan UL; Kappler, Valérie; Kaczor, Jakub UL et al

in Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.) (2009), 2009(3),

The interleukin-6-type cytokine oncostatin M (OSM) acts via the Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription pathway as well as via activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases and is ... [more ▼]

The interleukin-6-type cytokine oncostatin M (OSM) acts via the Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription pathway as well as via activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases and is known to critically regulate processes such as liver development and regeneration, hematopoiesis, and angiogenesis, which are also determined by hypoxia with the hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha (HIF1alpha) as a key component. Here we show that treatment of hepatocytes and hepatoma cells with OSM leads to an increased protein level of HIF1alpha under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Furthermore, the OSM-dependent HIF1alpha increase is mediated via Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 pathways. OSM-mediated HIF1alpha up-regulation did not result from an increase in HIF1alpha protein stability but from increased transcription from the HIF1alpha gene. In addition, we show that the OSM-induced HIF1alpha gene transcription and the resulting enhanced HIF1alpha protein levels are important for the OSM-dependent vascular endothelial growth factor and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 gene induction associated with several diseases. Conclusion: HIF1alpha levels increase significantly after treatment of hepatocytes and hepatoma cells with OSM, and HIF1alpha contributes to OSM downstream signaling events, pointing to a cross-talk between cytokine and hypoxia signaling in processes such as liver development and regeneration. (HEPATOLOGY 2009.). [less ▲]

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