Interleukin-1α and Interleukin-1β play a central role in the pathogenesis of fulminant hepatic failure in mice

Maya Sultan, Ziv Ben-Ari, Rula Masoud, Orit Pappo, Dror Harats, Yehuda Kamari, Michal Safran*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims: Fulminant hepatitis failure (FHF) is marked by the sudden loss of hepatic function, with a severe life-threatening course in persons with no prior history of liver disease. Interleukin (IL)-1α and IL-1β are key inflammatory cytokines but little is known about their role in the development of FHF. The aim of this study was to assess the involvement of IL-1α and IL-1β in the progression of LPS/GalN-induced FHF. Methods: WT, IL-1α or IL-1β deficient mice were injected with LPS/GalN. Blood and liver tissue were collected at different time points, FHF related pathways were examined. Results: After FHF induction the survival of both IL-1α and IL-1β KO mice was longer than that of WT mice. Lower serum liver enzyme levels, demonstrated reduced hepatic injury in the IL-1α and IL-1βKO mice. Histologically detected liver injury and apoptotic hepatocytes were significantly reduced in the IL-1αand IL-1βKO mice compared to WT mice. Reduced hepatic IkB levels and upregulated NFκB activity in WT mice remained inhibited in IL-1α and IL-1β KO mice. Hepatic expression levels of TNFα and IL-6 were significantly increased in WT mice but not in IL-1α and IL-1β KO mice. Conclusions IL-1α and IL-1β play a central role in the pathogenesis of LPS/GalN-induced FHF. These interleukins are associated with the activation of NFκB signaling, upregulation of the proinflammatory cytokines and liver damage and apoptosis. Since neither IL-1α nor IL-1β depletions completely rescued the phenotype, we believe that IL-1α and IL-1β have a similar and probably complementary role in FHF progression.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0184084
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017


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