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PLoS One. 2013 Jul 3;8(7):e67868. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067868. Print 2013.

Interleukin-6 mediates angiotensinogen gene expression during liver regeneration.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.



Angiotensinogen is the precursor of angiotensin II, which is associated with ischemia-reperfusion injury. Angiotensin II reduces liver regeneration after hepatectomy and causes dysfunction and failure of reduced-size liver transplants. However, the regulation of angiotensinogen during liver regeneration is still unclear.


To investigate the regulation of angiotensinogen during liver regeneration for preventing angiotensin II-related ischemia-reperfusion injury during liver regeneration.


A mouse in vitro partial hepatectomy animal model was used to evaluate the expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and angiotensinogen during liver regeneration. Serum IL-6 and angiotensinogen were detected by enzyme immunoassay (EIA). Angiotensinogen mRNA was detected by RT-PCR. Tissue levels of angiotensinogen protein were detected by Western blot analysis. Primary cultures of mouse hepatocytes were used to investigate IL-6-induced angiotensinogen. Chemical inhibitors were used to perturb signal transduction pathways. Synthetic double-stranded oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) were used as 'decoy' cis-elements to investigate transcription. Ki 67 staining and quantification were used to verify liver regeneration.


In the in vivo model, the levels of serum IL-6 and angiotensinogen correlated. In the in vitro model, IL-6 transcriptionally regulated angiotensinogen expression. Additionally, IL-6 mediated angiotensinogen expression through the Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and JAK/p38 signaling. Decoy ODN analyses revealed that STAT3 and nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB) also played critical roles in the transcriptional regulation of angiotensinogen by IL-6. IL-6-mediated signaling, JAK2, STAT3 and p38 inhibitors reduced angiotensinogen expression in the partially hepatectomized mice.


During liver regeneration, IL-6-enhanced angiotensinogen expression is dependent on the JAK/STAT3 and JAK/p38/NF-kB signaling pathways. Interruption of the molecular mechanisms of angiotensinogen regulation may be applied as the basis of therapeutic strategies for preventing angiotensin II-related ischemia-reperfusion injury during liver regeneration.

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