Murine leptin deficiency alters Kupffer cell production of cytokines that regulate the innate immune system

Zhiping Li, Huizhi Lin, Shiqi Yang, Anna Mae Diehl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background & Aims: ob/ob mice are used to study the mechanisms that regulate the progression from steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. The livers of ob/ob mice are depleted of CD4-positive natural killer cells, components of the innate immune system that induce anti-inflammatory cytokines. Although this may explain the sensitivity of fatty livers to lipopolysaccharide, why such hepatic CD4-positive natural killer cell depletion occurs is uncertain. Because leptin regulates macrophages, our hypothesis is that leptin deficiency alters Kupffer cell production of cytokines that inhibit (e.g., interleukin [IL]-12) or enhance (e.g., IL-15) hepatic CD4-positive natural killer cell viability. Methods: Kupffer cell cytokine production and the hepatic content of CD4-positive natural killer cells were compared in ob/ob and lean mice. ob/ob mice were then treated with IL-15 or leptin to determine whether either factor improved their immunologic abnormalities. Results: Compared with control Kupffer cells, ob/ob Kupffer cells produced less IL-15 basally and more IL-12 after lipopolysaccharide stimulation. Treatment of ob/ob mice with IL-15 for 1 week normalizes their hepatic CD4-positive natural killer cell content. Leptin increases the hepatic expression of IL-15 in ob/ob mice and partially replenishes their hepatic CD4-positive natural killer cells. Conclusions: Leptin deficiency increases hepatic IL-12 and reduces hepatic IL-15 expression. The abnormal production of these Kupffer cell factors promotes hepatic CD4-positive natural killer cell depletion in ob/ob livers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1304-1310
Number of pages7
JournalGastroenterology
Volume123
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Murine leptin deficiency alters Kupffer cell production of cytokines that regulate the innate immune system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this