JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

[Ethanol changes sensitivity of Kupffer cells to endotoxin]

Shunhei Yamashina, Kenichi Ikejima, Nobuyuki Enomoto, Yoshiyuki Takei, Nobuhiro Sato
Japanese Journal of Alcohol Studies & Drug Dependence 2003, 38 (5): 415-24
14639920
Gut-derived endotoxin plays an important role in alcoholic liver injury. Intestinal sterilization with antibiotics (polymyxin B and neomycin) or inactivation of Kupffer cells with gadolinium chloride can prevent early alcohol-induced liver injury in the Tsukamoto-French model. Although short-term administration of alcohol enhances endotoxin hepatotoxicity, a majority of studies report that short-term ethanol inactivates Kupffer cells. It is therefore paradoxical that Kupffer cells are involved in alcoholic liver injury based on in vivo data with gadolinium chloride and antibiotics, yet ethanol blunts activation of isolated Kupffer cells. Accordingly, this review focuses on understanding this paradox by studying the temporal effect of ethanol in vivo on the response of subsequently isolated Kupffer cells. Mice were given ethanol intragastrically, and LPS was injected later. One hour after ethanol treatment, serum transaminases after LPS were 60% of control, while ethanol increased these parameters about 3-fold 21 hours after ethanol. Pretreatment with antibiotics blocked these effects of ethanol. Two hours after ethanol administration, the LPS-induced increases in intracellular calcium concentration and TNF alpha release by Kupffer cells was diminished by 50% of control, and these parameters were reciprocally enhanced two-fold at 24 hours. Sterilization of the gut with antibiotics blocked both effects of ethanol on intracellular calcium concentration and TNF alpha release. Twenty-four hours after ethanol, CD14 in Kupffer cells was elevated to about five-fold. In Kupffer cells from mice treated with ethanol 1 hour earlier, IRAK expression and activity and NF kappa B were decreased to 50-60% of control. In contrast, in Kupffer cells from mice treated with ethanol 21 hours earlier, LPS-induced TNF alpha production, expression and activity of IRAK were increased 1.5-fold over controls, while NF kappa B activation was elevated 3-fold. Kupffer cells isolated from rodents early after ethanol exhibited tolerance to LPS, whereas sensitization was observed later. In conclusion, acute ethanol alters the expression of endotoxin receptors and intracellular signaling molecules, and causes both tolerance and sensitization of Kupffer cells to endotoxin. It is postulated that tolerance of Kupffer cells contributes to the impairment of innate immune system in alcoholism, while sensitization to endotoxin enhances progression of alcoholic liver injury.

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