Journal Article

Superoxide generation from Kupffer cells contributes to hepatocarcinogenesis: studies on NADPH oxidase knockout mice

Olga Teufelhofer, Wolfram Parzefall, Eveline Kainzbauer, Franziska Ferk, Constanze Freiler, Siegfried Knasmüller, Leonilla Elbling, Ronald Thurman and Rolf Schulte-Hermann

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 26, issue 2, pages 319-329
Published in print February 2005 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online February 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Superoxide generation from Kupffer cells contributes to hepatocarcinogenesis: studies on NADPH oxidase knockout mice

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics


Show Summary Details


We hypothesized that superoxide from Kupffer cells (KC) contributes to hepatocarcinogenesis. p47phox−/− mice, deficient in phagocyte NADPH oxidase and superoxide generation, received a single dose of the hepatocarcinogen diethylnitrosamine (DEN). The following hepatic effects were observed at time points between 30 min and 35 days. Liver damage after DEN was manifested by loss of body and liver mass and of liver DNA and by an increase in apoptosis, necrosis and signs of inflammation. These effects were massive in wild-type (wt) male mice, but only very mild in p47phox−/− mice. Regenerative DNA synthesis subsequent to liver damage was high in wt male mice, but weak in p47phox−/− mice. In females the apparent protection by p47phox−/− was less pronounced than in males. Therefore, further experiments were performed with males. In KC isolated from wt mice superoxide production was enhanced by DEN pretreatment in vivo. Also, in vitro addition of DEN to KC cultures induced superoxide release, similarly to lipopolysaccharide, a standard KC activator. Thus, DEN directly activates wt KC to produce superoxide. KC from p47phox−/− mice did not release superoxide. TNFα production by isolated KC was transiently depressed 0.5 h after DEN treatment in vivo, but recovered rapidly. In blood serum TNFα levels of wt mice were elevated for the initial 6 h. TNFα in KC cultures and in serum of p47phox−/− mice was reduced. DEN in vivo induced DNA damage (‘comets’) in hepatocytes. This damage was extensive in wt mice but much less in p47phox−/− mice. These studies suggest two conclusions: (i) superoxide generation by phagocytes during liver damage and inflammation aggravates genotoxic and cytotoxic effects in hepatocytes and may thus contribute to tumor initiation and promotion; (ii) DEN has a direct stimulatory effect on KC to release superoxide and TNFα.

Keywords: BrdU, 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine; DEN, diethylnitrosamine; HBSS, Hank's balanced salt solution; HCC, hepatocellular carcinoma; HE, haematoxylin and eosin; KC, Kupffer cells; LPO, lipid peroxidation; LPS, lipopolysaccharide; MEME, Eagle's minimal medium; NOX, NADPH oxidase; NPC, non-parenchymal cells; p47phox−/−, p47phox knockout; PHOX, phagocyte oxidase; RNS, reactive nitrogen species; ROS, reactive oxygen species; SPF, specific pathogen-free; TNFα, tumor necrosis factor α; wt, wild-type

Journal Article.  7489 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.