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J Hepatol. 1987 Dec;5(3):299-310.

Kupffer cell-mediated induction of synthesis and secretion of proteoglycans by rat liver fat-storing cells in culture.

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Department of Clinical Chemistry, Philipps University, Marburg F.R.G.


The effect of conditioned media from Kupffer cells of normal, D-galactosamine- and thioacetamide-treated rats on the synthesis of proteoglycans by rat liver fat-storing cells in culture was studied in order to elucidate some of the mechanisms initiating enhanced connective tissue proteoglycan synthesis in injured liver. The incorporation of [35S]sulfate and [3H]glucosamine into proteoglycans was 2.1-2.5 fold (P less than 0.005) stimulated by the additions of normal, D-galactosamine- and thioacetamide-exposed Kupffer cell media. The concentrations of hexuronic acid and amino sugars in the medium glycosaminoglycan fraction were enhanced 5-fold and 4.5-fold, respectively, if the fat-storing cells were cultured in the presence of normal Kupffer cell conditioned medium. Treatment of normal Kupffer cells in culture with zymosan and phorbol esters, but not the addition of lipopolysaccharide, enhanced further the proteoglycan synthesis-stimulating effect of normal (untreated) Kupffer cells. The pattern of newly formed [35S]sulfate-labeled proteoglycans was changed in the presence of Kupffer cell media, showing a strong fractional increase of chondroitin sulfate and a relative decrease of dermatan sulfate, but the fraction of heparan sulfate was almost unaffected. In absolute terms Kupffer cells stimulated the total (medium and cell fraction) synthesis of chondroitin sulfate 2.8-fold and that of dermatan sulfate 1.5-fold. Although the DNA content of fat-storing cell cultures was increased by incubation with Kupffer cell media, an enhancement of proteoglycan synthesis was also observed when related to the DNA content of the cultures. The stimulation of proteoglycan synthesis was not dependent on the induction of cell proliferation. Gel chromatography and beta-elimination of medium proteoglycans revealed no changes of the molecular weight distribution profile of native proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycan chains synthesized under the influence of the various Kupffer cell media. Activation of proteoglycan synthesis and secretion in fat-storing cells by Kupffer cell-derived factor(s) might be an important mechanism of their strong accumulation in the connective tissue of fibrotic livers.

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