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BACKGROUND - The hepatic acute-phase response is the result of reprogramming of gene expression in the liver. Similar acute-phase responses occur in regenerating liver after partial hepatectomy and are preceded by increases in the expression of a set of transcriptional regulatory proteins that are encoded by "immediate-early" genes. The purpose of this study was to determine whether acute systemic inflammation after lipopolysaccharide injection induces hepatic immediate-early genes that are induced by partial hepatectomy.
METHODS - Two- to 4-month-old Balb/c mice received intraperitoneal Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (0111:B4; 100 micrograms), and total liver RNA, nuclear protein extracts, or total liver protein lysates were obtained at 0, 1, 3, 12, and 24 hours. RNA blot hybridization analysis was used to determine steady-state messenger RNA levels for c-jun, jun-B, jun-D, c-fos, fos-B, fra-1, nup475, and zif268. Specific nuclear protein-binding activity was determined by gel mobility shift assay. The protein c-Jun was detected by antibody-blocking experiments, and Jun-B was detected by gel supershift assay of the activating protein (AP-1) complex. Steady-state Jun-B levels were determined by immunoblot analysis.
RESULTS - Intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide is followed by induction (from fivefold to 13-fold) of c-jun, jun-B, c-fos, zif268, and nup475 messenger RNAs in the liver. Lipopolysaccharide induced increases in AP-1 and Zif268 consensus DNA-binding activity in mouse liver. The proteins c-Jun and Jun-B are detected in the AP-1 complex after administration of lipopolysaccharide.
CONCLUSIONS - The induction of hepatic immediate-early genes after lipopolysaccharide is similar to that that follows partial hepatectomy. These transcription factors likely have important roles in the reprogramming of gene expression that leads to the acute-phase response.