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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1997 Sep;21(6):1037-41.

Choline deficiency augments and antibody to tumor necrosis factor-alpha attenuates endotoxin-induced hepatic injury.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, USA.


Alcoholic liver disease can be associated with hepatic choline deficiency and hepatic steatosis, abnormalities also observed in rats administered choline-deficient (CD) diets. Bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) have been postulated to play a key role in this choline deficiency model of liver injury, and LPS hepatotoxicity is mediated to a major extent by the inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). This study addressed the following questions: Does LPS administration exacerbate an in vivo liver injury induced by choline deficiency? If so, do CD rats have increased serum TNF-alpha concentrations and does pretreatment anti-TNF-alpha IgG attenuate this injury? Rats administered choline-sufficient (CS) or CD diets for 16 days were intravenously administered either saline or LPS. One group of CD rats also received a single dose of anti-TNF-alpha IgG before LPS administration. Changes in histology and serum transaminase levels were determined. Both liver histology and serum transaminases were unchanged in the CS group treated with LPS, compared with the CS group treated with saline (control group). However, compared with this control group, transaminases were 5- to 7-fold higher in saline-treated CD rats and 30- to 50-fold higher in LPS-treated CD rats. Livers of saline-treated CD rats had massive fatty infiltration, and no necrosis but livers of LPS-treated CD rats showed both extensive fatty infiltration and large areas of necrosis. Serum TNF-alpha concentrations in CD rats (saline or LPS treated) were significantly elevated, compared with levels in corresponding CS rats. Pretreatment with the anti-TNF-alpha IgG prevented hepatonecrosis in LPS-treated CD rats and lowered their serum transaminases by one-third. Thus, LPS administration exacerbated liver injury induced by choline deficiency, and this injury was probably partially mediated by TNF-alpha and attenuated by anti-TNF-alpha IgG.

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