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J Hepatol. 2011 Dec;55(6):1291-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2011.04.019. Epub 2011 May 19.

Chemical composition of hepatic lipids mediates reperfusion injury of the macrosteatotic mouse liver through thromboxane A(2).

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  • 1Swiss HPB (Hepato-Pancreatico-Biliary) and Transplant Center, Department of Surgery, University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland.



Chemical composition of hepatic lipids is an evolving player in steatotic liver ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Thromboxane A(2) (TXA(2)) is a vasoactive pro-inflammatory lipid mediator derived from arachidonic acid (AA), an omega-6 fatty acid (Ω-6 FA). Reduced tolerance of the macrosteatotic liver to I/R may be related to increased TXA(2) synthesis due to the predominance of Ω-6 FAs.


TXA(2) levels elicited by I/R in ob/ob and wild type mice were assessed by ELISA. Ob/ob mice were fed Ω-3 FAs enriched diet to reduce hepatic synthesis of AA and TXA(2) or treated with selective TXA(2) receptor blocker before I/R.


I/R triggered significantly higher hepatic TXA(2) production in ob/ob than wild type animals. Compared with ob/ob mice on regular diet, Ω-3 FAs supplementation markedly reduced hepatic AA levels before ischemia and consistently blunted hepatic TXA(2) synthesis after reperfusion. Sinusoidal perfusion and hepatocellular damage were significantly ameliorated despite downregulation of heme oxygenase-1. Hepatic transcript and protein levels of IL-1β and neutrophil recruitment were significantly diminished after reperfusion. Moreover, TXA(2) receptor blockage conferred similar protection without modification of the histological pattern of steatosis. A stronger protection was achieved in the steatotic compared with lean animals.


Enhanced I/R injury in the macrosteatotic liver is explained, at least partially, by TXA(2) mediated microcirculatory failure rather than size-related mechanical compression of the sinusoids by lipid droplets. TXA(2) blockage may be a simple strategy to include steatotic organs and overcome the shortage of donor organs for liver transplantation.

Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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