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Toxicity of phorbol myristate acetate-stimulated polymorphonuclear neutrophils against rat hepatocytes. Demonstration and mechanism

Toxicity of phorbol myristate acetate-stimulated polymorphonuclear neutrophils against rat hepatocytes. Demonstration and mechanism

Laboratory Investigation; a Journal of Technical Methods and Pathology 59(6): 831-837

Human polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN), when exposed to soluble or particulate stimuli, can destroy various types of cells. The purpose of the present work was to investigate the toxicity of phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)-stimulated PMN against hepatocytes. Neutrophils were incubated in basal conditions or after stimulation by 100 ng/ml PMA in the presence of rat hepatocytes isolated by collagenase digestion. Cytotoxicity was quantified by the percentage of alanine aminotransferase (ALAT) activity released by hepatocytes in the culture medium. Whereas unstimulated PMN had only minor effects, PMA-stimulated PMN induced, after a 16-hour incubation, a 29.5% ALAT activity release at a PMN/hepatocyte ratio of 20/1. At the same ratio, stimulated PMN induced a 1.5% and a 16.6% ALAT activity release at 1 and 4 hours, respectively. At 1 hour, electron microscopy showed intimate contacts between PMN and hepatocytes; hepatocytes appeared morphologically normal. Hepatocytic lesions were moderate at 4 hours and marked at 16 hours. Neutrophil-induced hepatocyte toxicity could not be explained by the production of reactive oxygen intermediates since: (a) hepatocyte toxicity was not prevented by either superoxide dismutase or by catalase; (b) PMN obtained from a subject with chronic granulomatous disease were as toxic as PMN obtained from a normal subject. By contrast, a proteinase-mediated mechanism could be implicated since: (a) the supernatant of stimulated PMN induced a 45.9% ALAT activity release, after 16 hours of incubation; (b) three neutral proteinase inhibitors (i.e., alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor, phenylmethylsulfonylfluoride, soybean trypsin inhibitor) as well as fetal calf serum decreased this toxic effect by 82, 86, 81 and 70%, respectively. These inhibitors had no or minor protective effect on the toxicity of stimulated PMN coincubated with hepatocytes. This could be explained by the existence of intimate contacts between PMN and hepatocytes impeding the action of antiproteinases. Our results suggest that PMA-stimulated PMN can damage hepatocytes through the release of proteinases and that the existence of close contacts between PMN and hepatocytes might play a major role in this toxic effect.

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Accession: 041826278

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PMID: 2848980

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