T cell activation and associated pro-inflammatory cytokine production is a pathological feature of inflammatory liver disease. It is also known that liver injury is associated with marked impairments in the function of many hepatic proteins including a hepatocyte-specific binding protein, the asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGPR). Recently, it has been suggested that hepatic ASGPRs may play an important role in the physiological regulation of T lymphocytes, leading to our hypothesis that ASGPR defects correlate with inflammatory-mediated events in liver diseases. Therefore, in this study we investigated whether changes in hepatocellular ASGPR expression were related to the dysregulation of intrahepatic T lymphocytes and correlate with the development of T-cell mediated hepatitis. Mice lacking functional ASGPRs (receptor-deficient, RD), and wild-type (WT) controls were intravenously injected with T-cell mitogens, Concanavalin A (Con A) or anti-CD3 antibody. As a result of T cell mitogen treatment, RD mice lacking hepatic ASGPRs displayed enhancements in liver pathology, transaminase activities, proinflammatory cytokine expression, and caspase activation compared to that observed in normal WT mice. Furthermore, FACS analysis demonstrated that T-cell mitogen administration resulted in a significant rise in the percentage of CD8 + lymphocytes present in the livers of RD animals versus WT mice. Since these two mouse strains differ only in whether they express the hepatic ASGPR, it can be concluded that proper ASGPR function exerts a protective effect against T cell mediated hepatitis and that impairments to this hepatic receptor could be related to the accumulation of cytotoxic T cells that are observed in inflammatory liver diseases.
- Asialoglycoprotein receptor
- Asialoglycoprotein receptor knockout
- Intrahepatic lymphocytes
- Liver injury
- Receptor-mediated endocytosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy