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Am J Physiol. 1996 Sep;271(3 Pt 2):R593-600.

Increased expression of cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant in septic rat liver.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesia, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


Hepatocellular dysfunction in sepsis may be neutrophil mediated. We therefore tested the hypothesis that sepsis-induced neutrophil accumulation is associated with increased expression of the chemokine, cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant (CINC). In Sprague-Dawley rats made septic by cecal ligation and puncture, we demonstrate a time-dependent increase in CINC mRNA, which returns to baseline by 48 h. By in situ hybridization, this mRNA is present in hepatocytes and nonparenchymal cells. CINC protein levels in septic animals parallel mRNA levels and resolve by 48 h. Because CINC expression is induced by cytokines including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF- alpha), we show, by immunohistochemistry, that sepsis elevates intrahepatic TNF-alpha. Finally, because the CINC promoter is transactivated by the transcription factor, nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappa B), we determined that hepatic NF-kappa B DNA binding increases dramatically, peaking 16 h after cecal ligation and puncture. Thus activated NF-kappa B may mediate CINC induction in sepsis. This constellation of findings suggests a mechanism by which sepsis may induce neutrophil accumulation in the liver and may have implications regarding sepsis-induced hepatic dysfunction.

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