Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2012 Jun 1;302(11):G1310-21. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00365.2011. Epub 2012 Mar 22.

Hepatic recruitment of macrophages promotes nonalcoholic steatohepatitis through CCR2.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, USA.


Inflammatory cell infiltration in the liver is a hallmark of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The chemokine-chemokine receptor interaction induces inflammatory cell recruitment. CC-chemokine receptor (CCR)2 is expressed on hepatic macrophages and hepatic stellate cells. This study aims to investigate the therapeutic potential of CCR2 to NASH. Twenty-two weeks on a choline-deficient amino acid-defined (CDAA) diet induced steatosis, inflammatory cell infiltration, and liver fibrosis with increased CCR2 and monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 expression in the wild-type livers. The infiltrated macrophages expressed CD68, CCR2, and a marker of bone marrow-derived monocytes, Ly6C. CCR2(-/-) mice had less steatosis, inflammatory cell infiltration, and fibrosis, and hepatic macrophages expressing CD68 and Ly6C were decreased. Toll-like receptor (TLR)4(-/-), TLR9(-/-), and MyD88(-/-) mice had reduced hepatic macrophage infiltration with decreased MCP-1 and CCR2 expression because TLR signaling is a potent inducer of MCP-1. To assess the role of Kupffer cells at the onset of NASH, Kupffer cells were depleted by liposomal clodronate. The Kupffer cell depletion ameliorated steatohepatitis with a decrease in the MCP-1 expression and recruitment of Ly6C-expressing macrophages at the onset of NASH. Finally, to test the therapeutic potential of targeting CCR2, a CCR2 inhibitor was administered to mice on a CDAA diet. The pharmaceutical inhibition of CCR2 prevented infiltration of the Ly6C-positive macrophages, resulting in an inhibition of liver inflammation and fibrosis. We concluded that CCR2 and Kupffer cells contribute to the progression of NASH by recruiting bone marrow-derived monocytes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk