Send to

Choose Destination
Gastroenterology. 2002 Jan;122(1):202-10.

Tumor necrosis factor alpha, but not Fas, mediates hepatocellular apoptosis in the murine ischemic liver.

Author information

Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA.



Apoptosis of hepatocytes is a central feature of ischemic injury in the liver. The aim of this study was to identify extracellular inducers of apoptosis in the murine ischemic liver.


Involvement of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and Fas signaling was evaluated using various knockout mice (TNF-receptor 1 [TNF-R1]-/-, Fas[lpr]-/-, and Fas ligand[gld]-/-) and wild-type mice pretreated with pentoxifylline, an inhibitor of TNF-alpha synthesis.


Expression of TNF-alpha was increased after ischemia and reperfusion in wild-type mice and TNF-R1-deficient mice when compared with sham-operated animals. Pentoxifylline prevented up-regulation of TNF-alpha expression. Inhibition of TNF-alpha resulted in significant decrease of serum aspartate aminotransferase levels and prolonged animal survival. Markers of apoptosis (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling staining, cytochrome C release, and caspase 3 activity) were consistently decreased, and animal survival was prolonged after blocking TNF-alpha. In contrast, inhibition of Fas signaling did not alter parameters of tissue injury or apoptosis, and animal survival remained unchanged.


We identify TNF-alpha as a crucial inducer of apoptotic cell death in the ischemic liver. A role for Fas could not be identified. These findings may lead to novel strategies to prevent ischemic injury of the liver.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center