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Hepatology. 2000 Jul;32(1):49-55.

Hepatic cytochrome P450 down-regulation during aseptic inflammation in the mouse is interleukin 6 dependent.

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Institut f]ur Biochemie der RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany.


Expression of cytochromes P450 (CYP) is markedly reduced during inflammatory processes. In vitro studies with hepatocytes have shown that cytokines generated during these processes down-regulate CYP. However, it is not clear to what extent each individual cytokine contributes to the overall reduced expression of the various CYP isoenzymes in vivo. Interleukin 6 (IL-6), a major player during inflammatory processes, is recognized as the most important cytokine modulating the hepatic expression of acute-phase protein (APP) genes. For this reason, we selected the IL-6(-/-) mouse as a model to investigate the role of IL-6 in the down-regulation of hepatic CYP during experimental inflammation. Our results show that the reduction in messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of CYP1A2, CYP2A5, and CYP3A11 during turpentine-induced inflammation was abrogated in IL-6-deficient mice, confirming that IL-6 is an indispensable player for the down-regulation of hepatic CYP during aseptic inflammation. Moreover, the different CYP isoenzymes showed a variable grade of dependence on IL-6, CYP2A5 being the most sensitive one. In the case of CYP2E1, differences between IL-6(-/-) and wild-type mice were no longer maintained after 24 hours, suggesting a delayed, rather than abrogated, CYP down-regulation in the absence of IL-6. As opposed to that, hepatic CYP repression took place in IL-6-deficient mice during lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-mediated inflammation. This contrasting behavior observed for CYP is surprisingly similar to the one seen for extracellular (serum amyloid A, beta-fibrinogen) and intracellular (metallothionein-1) APPs and points to the fact that, in the model of bacterial inflammation (LPS), the effects of IL-6 on CYP down-regulation are likely to be substituted by other cytokines or mediators.

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