Journal Article

Role of Galectin-3 in Acetaminophen-Induced Hepatotoxicity and Inflammatory Mediator Production

Ana-Cristina Dragomir, Richard Sun, Vladimir Mishin, LeRoy B. Hall, Jeffrey D. Laskin and Debra L. Laskin

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 127, issue 2, pages 609-619
Published in print June 2012 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online March 2012 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfs117
Role of Galectin-3 in Acetaminophen-Induced Hepatotoxicity and Inflammatory Mediator Production

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Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a β-galactoside-binding lectin implicated in the regulation of macrophage activation and inflammatory mediator production. In the present studies, we analyzed the role of Gal-3 in liver inflammation and injury induced by acetaminophen (APAP). Treatment of wild-type (WT) mice with APAP (300 mg/kg, ip) resulted in centrilobular hepatic necrosis and increases in serum transaminases. This was associated with increased hepatic expression of Gal-3 messenger RNA and protein. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that Gal-3 was predominantly expressed by mononuclear cells infiltrating into necrotic areas. APAP-induced hepatotoxicity was reduced in Gal-3-deficient mice. This was most pronounced at 48–72 h post-APAP and correlated with decreases in APAP-induced expression of 24p3, a marker of inflammation and oxidative stress. These effects were not due to alterations in APAP metabolism or hepatic glutathione levels. The proinflammatory proteins, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), interleukin (IL)-1β, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-2, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, and MIP-3α, as well as the Gal-3 receptor (CD98), were upregulated in livers of WT mice after APAP intoxication. Loss of Gal-3 resulted in a significant reduction in expression of iNOS, MMP-9, MIP-3α, and CD98, with no effects on IL-1β. Whereas APAP-induced increases in MIP-2 were augmented at 6 h in Gal-3−/− mice when compared with WT mice, at 48 and 72 h, they were suppressed. Tumor necrosis factor receptor-1 (TNFR1) was also upregulated after APAP, a response dependent on Gal-3. Moreover, exaggerated APAP hepatotoxicity in mice lacking TNFR1 was associated with increased Gal-3 expression. These data demonstrate that Gal-3 is important in promoting inflammation and injury in the liver following APAP intoxication.

Keywords: acetaminophen; macrophages; inflammation; galectin-3; liver; TNFR1

Journal Article.  5900 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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