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J Hepatol. 1999 Jan;30(1):38-47.

Differential expression of prostanoid receptors in hepatocytes, Kupffer cells, sinusoidal endothelial cells and stellate cells of rat liver.

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Institut für Biochemie und Molekulare Zellbiologie, Göttingen, Germany.



Prostanoids produced by nonparenchymal cells modulate the function of parenchymal and nonparenchymal liver cells during homeostasis and inflammation via eight classes of prostanoid receptors coupled to different G-proteins. Prostanoid receptor expression in parenchymal and nonparenchymal cells was studied in order to get a better insight into the complex prostanoid-mediated intrahepatic signaling network.


RNA was isolated from freshly purified parenchymal and nonparenchymal rat liver cells and the mRNA level of all eight prostanoid receptor classes was determined by newly developed semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction protocols.


The mRNAs for the prostanoid receptors were differentially expressed. Hepatocytes were the only cell type which contained the mRNA of the Gq-linked prostaglandin F2alpha receptor; they were devoid of any mRNA for the Gs-linked prostanoid receptors. Kupffer cells possessed the largest amount of mRNA for the Gs-linked prostaglandin E2 receptor subtype 2. Endothelial cells expressed high levels of mRNA for the Gq-linked thromboxane receptor and medium levels of mRNA for the Gs-linked prostacyclin receptor, while stellate cells had the highest levels of mRNA for the prostacyclin receptor. The mRNAs for the Gq-linked prostaglandin E2 receptor subtype 1 and the Gi-linked prostaglandin E2 receptor subtype 3 were expressed in hepatocytes and all nonparenchymal cell types at similar high levels, whereas the mRNA of the Gs-linked prostaglandin D2 receptor was expressed in all nonparenchymal cells at very low levels.


In hepatocytes the prostaglandin F2alpha receptor can mediate an increase in glucose output via an increase of intracellular InsP3 while cAMP-dependent glucose output can be inhibited via the subtype 3 prostaglandin E2 receptor. The subtype 2 prostaglandin E2 receptor can restrain the inflammatory response of Kupffer cells via an increase in intracellular cAMP The thromboxane receptor and the prostacyclin receptor in sinusoidal endothelial and the prostacyclin receptor in stellate cells may be involved in the regulation of sinusoidal blood flow and filtration.

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