Chronic ethanol feeding potentiates Fas Jo2-induced hepatotoxicity: Role of CYP2E1 and TNF-α and activation of JNK and P38 MAP kinase

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We have previously shown that treatment of mice with pyrazole or acute ethanol potentiated Fas agonistic Jo2 antibody-induced liver injury by a mechanism involving induction of CYP2E1 and elevated oxidative stress. The current study evaluated whether chronic alcohol feeding potentiates Fas-induced liver injury and whether CYP2E1 plays a role in any enhanced hepatotoxicity. Wild-type and CYP2E1 knockout mice were fed ethanol or isocaloric dextrose for 4 weeks followed by a single treatment with either saline or Jo2. Mice were killed 8 h after the Jo2 challenge. There were three- to five fold increases in transaminases and more extensive eosinophilic necrosis, hemorrhage, and infiltration of inflammatory cells in the central zone of the hepatic lobule in the ethanol-fed mice treated with Jo2 compared to the dextrose/Jo2- or ethanol/saline-treated mice. Liver injury was blunted in ethanol-fed CYP2E1 knockout mice treated with Jo2. The chronic ethanol feeding produced steatosis, elevation of CYP2E1, and oxidative stress in wild-type but not CYP2E1 knockout mice. These changes in wild-type mice fed ethanol were similar after saline or Jo2 treatment. The Jo2 treatment produced activation of JNK and P38 MAP kinase, increased activity of caspase-8 and -3, and lowered hepatic GSH levels in both the dextrose- and the alcohol-fed mice. JNK was activated at early times after Jo2 treatment in the ethanol-fed mice. Serum TNF-α levels were strikingly elevated in the wild-type ethanol/Jo2 group, which showed liver injury, compared to all the other groups, which did not show liver injury. Inhibition of JNK or P38 MAPK partially, but not completely, prevented the elevated liver injury in the wild-type ethanol/Jo2 mice. These results show that chronic ethanol feeding enhances Fas-induced liver injury by a mechanism associated with induction of CYP2E1, elevated serum TNF-α levels, and activation of MAPK.


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