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Gastroenterology. 2002 Mar;122(3):697-708.

Induction of anaphylatoxin C5a receptors in rat hepatocytes by lipopolysaccharide in vivo: mediation by interleukin-6 from Kupffer cells.

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Institut für Biochemie und Molekulare Zellbiologie, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany.



In normal rat liver, anaphylatoxin C5a induces glucose output from hepatocytes indirectly via prostanoids released from Kupffer cells. Correspondingly, it was found that hepatocytes, in contrast to Kupffer cells, did not express C5a receptors. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) has been reported to enhance C5a receptor expression in murine livers. This might be the result of de novo expression in hepatocytes.


C5a receptor expression was investigated in hepatocytes after in vivo treatment of rats with LPS and in vitro stimulation of isolated cells with LPS and proinflammatory cytokines on messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein level, and functionally in isolated hepatocytes and perfused liver.


In vivo treatment of rats with LPS induced C5a receptor mRNA and protein in hepatocytes with a maximum after 8-10 hours. At this time-point, C5a directly activated glycogen phosphorylase in isolated hepatocytes and enhanced glucose output in perfused livers without the involvement of prostanoids. LPS failed to induce C5a receptors in cultured hepatocytes in vitro, whereas interleukin (IL) 6 and IL-1beta, which are known to be released from Kupffer cells on stimulation with LPS, did so. In cocultures of hepatocytes with Kupffer cells, LPS induced C5a receptors in hepatocytes in an IL-6-dependent manner.


Thus, IL-6 from Kupffer cells appears to be the main mediator of LPS-induced de novo expression of C5a receptors in hepatocytes.

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