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Biochem Pharmacol. 1990 Sep 15;40(6):1317-22.

Leukocyte alterations do not account for hepatitis induced by endotoxin or TNF alpha in galactosamine-sensitized mice.

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Faculty of Biology, University of Konstanz, Federal Republic of Germany.


Subtoxic doses of endotoxin (salmonella abortus equi lipopolysaccharide, LPS) (5 micrograms/kg i.p.) or tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) (15 micrograms/kg i.v.) induced fulminant hepatitis within 8 hr, when mice had been sensitized by a subtoxic dose of D-galactosamine (700 mg/kg i.p.). LPS-treatment led to the release of TNF into the circulation, independently of the presence of D-galactosamine. The TNF-dependent development of hepatitis was accompanied by a severe lymphopenia and neutrophilia as assessed by leukocyte differential count. The total leukocyte count was not significantly affected. Lymphopenia and neutrophilia were induced by LPS or TNF alpha alone; however, the differential count was not influenced by D-galactosamine. A quantity of 260 micrograms/kg phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) i.p. or 5 micrograms/kg platelet activating factor (PAF) i.v. or 3.3 mg/kg N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine methylester (FMLP) i.v. or 167 mg/kg zymosan i.v. also caused lymphopenia and neutrophilia in mice. However, none of these agents induced the production of systemic TNF and therefore failed to induce hepatitis in D-galactosamine-sensitized mice. In LPS-insensitive C3H/HeJ mice administration of LPS produced neither differential count changes nor hepatitis while both events were observed when TNF alpha was given. This shows that TNF alpha alone gives rise to lymphopenia/neutrophilia as well as hepatitis independent of LPS. When the action of TNF alpha was blocked by anti TNF alpha antiserum pretreatment of LPS-sensitive mice, the animals were protected against LPS-induced hepatitis. However, lymphopenia and neutrophilia still occurred to a similar extent. The involvement of a putative additional mediator of LPS-induced leukocyte alterations was checked. The findings suggest that this mediator, if present, is different from IL-1, IL-2, eicosanoids or superoxide. We conclude from our findings that changes in leukocyte numbers and composition following D-galactosamine LPS or D-galactosamine/TNF alpha administration is an epiphenomenon rather than a causal event of leukocyte stimulation in the process of inducing a fulminant hepatitis in mice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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