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J Immunol. 2000 May 15;164(10):5453-8.

Induction of functional anaphylatoxin C5a receptors on hepatocytes by in vivo treatment of rats with IL-6.

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  • 1Institut für Biochemie und Molekulare Zellbiologie, and Abteilung für Immunologie, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.


In normal rat liver, anaphylatoxin C5a receptors (C5aR) are only expressed by nonparenchymal cells, mainly Kupffer cells and hepatic stellate cells, but not by parenchymal cells, i.e., hepatocytes (HC). Nevertheless, C5a stimulates glucose output by HC. This HC-specific defense reaction is induced indirectly via prostanoids secreted by the C5aR-expressing Kupffer cells and hepatic stellate cells. It is shown here that under inflammatory conditions simulated by in vivo treatment of rats with IL-6 C5aR mRNA and protein were induced in HC in a time-dependent manner. Maximal mRNA and protein expression were observed at 4-8 h and 8-10 h, respectively, after IL-6 injection. The newly expressed receptors were functional, because recombinant rat C5a significantly activated glycogen phosphorylase in HC isolated from IL-6-treated but not in HC from control rats. In perfused livers of IL-6-treated animals in contrast to control animals, recombinant rat C5a-induced glucose output was not impaired by inhibition of prostanoid synthesis and function with the cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin and the thromboxane receptor antagonist daltroban. These results indicate that HC-specific defense reactions might be differently regulated under normal and inflammatory conditions as shown here for the indirect prostanoid-dependent or direct C5a-induced activation of hepatocellular glycogen phyosphorylase and glucose output in control or IL-6-treated rats, respectively.

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