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Hepatology. 2001 Apr;33(4):902-14.

Subcellular site of superoxide dismutase expression differentially controls AP-1 activity and injury in mouse liver following ischemia/reperfusion.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City 52242, USA.


Acute damage following ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) in the liver is in part caused by the generation of reactive oxygen species, such as superoxides, during the reperfusion event. Gene therapy directed at attenuating mitochondrial superoxide production following warm I/R injury in the liver has demonstrated great promise in reducing acute hepatocellular damage. In the present study, we have compared the therapeutic effects of ectopic expression of mitochondrial (MnSOD) and cytoplasmic (Cu/ZnSOD) superoxide dismutase using recombinant adenoviral vectors for reducing I/R damage in the liver. Consistent with previous observations, recombinant adenoviral delivery of MnSOD to the liver significantly attenuated both acute liver damage and AP-1 activation following I/R injury to the livers of mice. However, ectopic expression of Cu/ZnSOD diminished neither I/R-induced elevations in serum alanine transaminase (ALT) nor AP-1 activation. Interestingly, baseline activation of AP-1 before I/R-induced injury was seen in livers infected with recombinant Ad.Cu/ZnSOD, but not Ad.MnSOD or Ad.LacZ, vectors. The level of Cu/ZnSOD-induced AP-1 activation was significantly reduced by ablation of Kupffer cells or by coexpression of catalase, suggesting that increased H(2)O(2) production facilitated by Cu/ZnSOD in hepatocytes and/or Kupffer cells may be responsible for AP-1 activation. In vitro reconstitution studies using hepatocyte and macrophage cell lines demonstrated that Cu/ZnSOD overexpression induces AP-1 in both cell types, and that secretion of a Cu/ZnSOD-induced macrophage factor is capable of elevating AP-1 in hepatocytes. In summary, our findings demonstrate that subcellular sites of superoxide production in the liver can differentially affect the outcome of I/R injury in the liver and selectively influence AP-1 activation.

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