We have previously demonstrated that after bile duct ligation hepatocytes express Bcl-2, although the mechanisms regulating Bcl-2 expression were not identified. Our aim was to determine if biliary constituents induce hepatocellular expression of Bcl-2 by a cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)-dependent mechanism. We used the choledocho-venous fistula (CVF) rat model for these studies and inhibited COX-2 by feeding the animals nimesulide, a selective inhibitor of COX-2 activity. Serum bile acids were 70-fold greater in CVF animals compared with controls, although liver histology and serum alanine aminotransferase values remained normal for the duration of the study. Neither Bcl-2 nor COX-2 was detected in sham-operated animals. However, Bcl-2 was expressed in hepatocytes but not in other liver cells in the CVF animals. In contrast, COX-2 protein was identified in Kupffer cells but not in hepatocytes of CVF animals. Hepatic Bcl-2 protein expression was four-fold lower in the livers from nimesulide-treated CVF rats. In conclusion, high circulating concentrations of biliary constituents are associated with stimulation of de novo hepatocyte expression of Bcl-2 and Kupffer cell expression of COX-2. These data suggest Kupffer cell-derived prostanoids may regulate Bcl-2 expression in the hepatocyte.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology|
|Issue number||5 43-5|
|State||Published - May 2001|
- Bile acids
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)