Tissue factor contributes to neutrophil CD11b expression in alpha-naphthylisothiocyanate-treated mice

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Cholestatic liver injury induced by alpha-naphthylisothiocyanate (ANIT) is provoked by injury to intrahepatic bile ducts and the progression of hepatic necrosis requires the procoagulant protein tissue factor (TF) and extrahepatic cells including neutrophils. Recent studies have shown that myeloid cell TF contributes to neutrophil activation. We tested the hypothesis that myeloid cell TF contributes to neutrophil activation in ANIT-treated mice. TF activity in liver homogenates increased significantly in TFflox/flox mice treated with ANIT, but not in TFflox/flox/LysMCre mice (TFΔMyeloid mice), which have reduced TF expression in monocytes/macrophages and neutrophils. Myeloid cell-specific TF deficiency did not alter expression of the chemokines KC or MIP-2 but reduced hepatic neutrophil accumulation in ANIT-treated mice at 48 h as indicated by tissue myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity. Myeloid cell TF deficiency significantly reduced CD11b expression by blood neutrophils in ANIT-treated mice, and this was associated with reduced plasma MPO protein levels, an index of neutrophil degranulation. However, myeloid cell-specific TF deficiency had no effect on ANIT-induced coagulation cascade activation. The increase in serum ALT and ALP activities in ANIT-treated mice was reduced by myeloid cell TF deficiency (p<0.05), but the myeloid cell TF deficiency did not reduce hepatic necrosis at 48 h, as determined by histopathology and morphometry. The results suggest that myeloid cell TF contributes to neutrophil CD11b expression during cholestasis by a coagulation-independent pathway. However, the resultant reduction in neutrophil accumulation/activation is insufficient to substantially reduce ANIT hepatotoxicity, suggesting that myeloid cell TF is only one of many factors modulating hepatic necrosis during cholestasis.

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