Heme Oxygenase 1 Attenuates Hypoxia-Reoxygenation Injury in Mice Liver Sinusoidal Endothelial Cells

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Abstract

Background

Heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1), a heat shock protein, can be involved in the resolution of inflammation by modulating cytokine expression and apoptotic cell death. Based on recent evidence that liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) is the critical target in early period of liver ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI), this study aims to clarify whether overexpression of HO-1 gene provides a protective effect on mice LSECs.

Methods

LSECs were transfected with adenovirus vectors encoding mice HO-1 gene (Ad-HO-1) or green fluorescent protein. Controls were not infected with any vector. LSECs were then treated with hypoxic or normoxic culture. We used low serum culture medium and hypoxia-reoxygenation (H-R) conditions to cause IRI in vitro. The transfection efficiency of HO-1 gene in LSECs, after 48 hours of transfection, and the effect of HO-1 on the model of H-R injury in LSECs were observed.

Results

Transfection of LSECs with Ad-HO-1 was at an optimal dose (multiplicity of infection = 80) to markedly express HO-1 mRNA and protein. Groups of overexpressed HO-1 showed lower levels of inflammatory factor mediators IL-6 and TNF-α. Survival rate of the cells after H-R injury was higher and attributed to overexpressed HO-1. In contrast, the control adenovirus expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein failed to induce HO-1 expression and stimulated cell apoptosis. HO-1 expression was downregulated in all H-R groups compared with normoxia groups, which may be related to the disruption of the LSEC structure.

Conclusions

Upregulation of HO-1 can attenuate H-R injury in LSECs by inhibiting proinflammatory cytokine release and diminishing apoptotic cell death.

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