Journal Article

Kupffer cell oxidant production is central to the mechanism of peroxisome proliferators

Michelle L. Rose, Chantal A. Rivera, Blair U. Bradford, Lee M. Graves, Russell C. Cattley, Robert Schoonhoven, James A. Swenberg and Ronald G. Thurman

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 20, issue 1, pages 27-33
Published in print January 1999 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online January 1999 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Kupffer cell oxidant production is central to the mechanism of peroxisome proliferators

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Increased cell proliferation most likely plays a key role in peroxisome proliferator-induced liver cancer. Recently, Kupffer cells were shown to be responsible for Wy-14,643-induced cell proliferation. However, the mechanism by which peroxisome proliferators activate Kupffer cells is unknown. Since gut-derived endotoxin is a known activator of Kupffer cells, the hypothesis that it is involved was evaluated. Increased cell proliferation and peroxisome induction were unaffected by gut sterilization. Moreover, endotoxin was not detectable in portal blood following treatment with Wy-14,643. Therefore, it is concluded that gut-derived endotoxin is not responsible for Kupffer cell activation. To test the hypothesis that Kupffer cells are activated by Wy-14,643 directly, Kupffer cell superoxide production was measured following treatment in vitro. Wy-14,643 increased superoxide production in a dose-dependent manner (0.1 and 50 μM) with half-maximal stimulation at 2.5 μM. Diethylhexylphthalate (DEHP) and ethylhexanol did not increase superoxide production even at doses 50 times higher than Wy-14,643; however, monoethylhexylphthalate (MEHP) activated superoxide production as effectively as Wy-14,643 with half-maximal stimulation at 5 μM. Treatment with Wy-14,643 for 21 days caused a 2-fold increase in Kupffer cell superoxide production while DEHP did not. Pretreatment of Kupffer cells with staurosporine (0.01–10 pM) completely blocked generation of superoxide demonstrating that protein kinase C is required. Moreover, Wy-14,643 increased Kupffer cell protein kinase C activity 3-fold. Pretreatment of Kupffer cells with the amino acid glycine (0.01–3 mM), which blunts calcium signaling, inhibited Wy-14,643-stimulated superoxide production and increased protein kinase C activity completely. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that potent peroxisome proliferators (Wy-14,643 and MEHP) directly activate Kupffer cell production of oxidants via mechanisms involving protein kinase C. Further, peroxisome proliferator treatments that sustain elevated rates of cell proliferation (e.g. Wy-14,643) activate Kupffer cell superoxide production following long-term dietary treatment supporting the hypothesis that Kupffer cell-derived oxidants are involved in peroxisome proliferator-induced neoplasia.

Keywords: BrdU, 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine; DEHP, diethylhexylphthalate; FBS, fetal bovine serum; HBSS, Hank's balanced salt solution; LPS, lipopolysaccharide; MEHP, monoethylhexylphthalate; PKC, protein kinase C; PPARα, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α.

Journal Article.  5088 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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