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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Sep 10;322(1):232-8.

Interleukin-6 regulates hepatic transporters during acute-phase response.

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Department of Internal Medicine III, Aachen University (RWTH), Aachen, Germany.


Cholestasis develops during inflammatory conditions characterized by the release of cytokines like interleukin-6 (IL-6), which is the major player in the hepatic acute-phase response. However, the exact contribution of IL-6 to transporter down-regulation is unclear. Therefore, we compared wild-type and IL-6-deficient mice after IL-6-injection and induction of an aseptic (turpentine-injection) or septic (LPS-injection) acute-phase response. Down-regulation of basolateral (Ntcp, Oatp1, and Mrp3) and canalicular (Mrp2, Bsep) transporter mRNA occurred after treatment with IL-6, turpentine, and LPS. In IL-6-deficient mice, turpentine failed to decrease mRNA-levels of basolateral and canalicular transporters, whereas LPS-mediated down-regulation of Ntcp, Mrp3, and Mrp2 was abolished at later time points (24 h). In conclusion, induction of an aseptic and septic acute-phase response leads to the down-regulation of basolateral and canalicular organic anion transporters. IL-6 is required for transporter down-regulation during aseptic inflammation. Furthermore, IL-6 also contributes to transporter regulation during LPS-induced cholestasis at more delayed time points.

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