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J Cell Mol Med. 2015 Oct;19(10):2441-52. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.12630. Epub 2015 Jul 14.

Role of PECAM-1 in radiation-induced liver inflammation.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Gastrointestinal Oncology, University Medical Center Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany.
Department of Radiotherapy and Radiooncology, University Medical Center Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany.


Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1, CD31) is known to play an important role in hepatic inflammation. Therefore, we investigated the role of PECAM-1 in wild-type (WT) and knock-out (KO)-mice after single-dose liver irradiation (25 Gy). Both, at mRNA and protein level, a time-dependent decrease in hepatic PECAM-1, corresponding to an increase in intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) (6 hrs) was detected in WT-mice after irradiation. Immunohistologically, an increased number of neutrophil granulocytes (NG) (but not of mononuclear phagocytes) was observed in the liver of WT and PECAM-1-KO mice at 6 hrs after irradiation. The number of recruited NG was higher and prolonged until 24 hrs in KO compared to WT-mice. Correspondingly, a significant induction of hepatic tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α and CXC-chemokines (KC/CXCL1 interleukin-8/CXCL8) was detected together with an elevation of serum liver transaminases (6-24 hrs) in WT and KO-mice. Likewise, phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT-3) was observed in both animal groups after irradiation. The level of all investigated proteins as well as of the liver transaminases was significantly higher in KO than WT-mice. In the cell-line U937, irradiation led to a reduction in PECAM-1 in parallel to an increased ICAM-1 expression. TNF-α-blockage by anti-TNF-α prevented this change in both proteins in cell culture. Radiation-induced stress conditions induce a transient accumulation of granulocytes within the liver by down-regulation/absence of PECAM-1. It suggests that reduction/lack in PECAM-1 may lead to greater and prolonged inflammation which can be prevented by anti-TNFα.


adhesion molecules; cytokines; liver; radiation

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