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J Leukoc Biol. 1994 Apr;55(4):507-13.

Regulation of hepatic endothelial cell and macrophage proliferation and nitric oxide production by GM-CSF, M-CSF, and IL-1 beta following acute endotoxemia.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey 08855-0789.


Treatment of rats with bacterially derived lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a condition that mimics acute endotoxemia, results in a significant increase in the number of endothelial cells and macrophages in the liver. This is correlated with the release of proinflammatory and cytotoxic mediators that induce liver damage. In the present studies, we analyzed the effects of various inflammatory mediators released during the pathogenesis of hepatic injury on proliferation of liver nonparenchymal cells. To induce acute endotoxemia female Sprague-Dawley rats were injected intravenously with 5 mg/kg LPS. Endothelial cells and macrophages were isolated 48 h later by combined collagenase and pronase perfusion of the liver followed by centrifugal elutriation. Interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1 alpha), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) had no effect on proliferation of either endothelial cells or macrophages. In contrast, whereas interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) inhibited the proliferation of endothelial cells from untreated rats, this cytokine stimulated the growth of cells from endotoxemic rats. The colony-stimulating factors, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF), also markedly enhanced the proliferation of endothelial cells, as well as macrophages from endotoxemic rats. Macrophages from endotoxemic rats were more sensitive to the colony-stimulating factors than cells from untreated rats. In contrast, the inflammatory mediators LPS and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) inhibited endothelial cell and macrophage growth, an effect that was partially blocked in endothelial cells by the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA). This suggests that growth inhibition in these cells is mediated, in part, by nitric oxide. Interestingly, in both endothelial cells and macrophages from endotoxemic rats, GM-CSF, M-CSF, and IL-1 beta synergized with LPS and IFN-gamma to induce nitric oxide production. This was correlated with a further inhibition of proliferation that was partially reversed by L-NMMA in endothelial cells but not macrophages. Taken together these data demonstrate that endothelial cell and macrophage proliferation in the liver is controlled by a variety of mediators released during endotoxemia; however, the mechanisms regulating growth in the two cell types are distinct.

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