Treatment of concanavalin A-induced hepatitis in mice with low molecular weight heparin

Rami Hershkoviz, Rafael Bruck, Hussein Aeed, Haim Shirin, Zamir Halpern*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background/Aims: Heparin has been noted to inhibit inflammation independent of its known anti-coagulant activity. In the present study, we examined the ability of heparin and low molecular weight heparin to prevent immune-mediated, concanavalin A-induced liver damage. Methods: Mice were pretreated with either heparin or low molecular weight heparin (Fragmin) prior to their inoculation with concanavalin A (10 mg/kg). Liver enzymes, liver histology, and the serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, and interleukin-10 were examined in the control and treated mice. Results: The histopathologic damage in the liver, and the concanavalin A-induced release of aminotransferases, tumor necrosis factor-α, and interleukin-6 were significantly inhibited in mice pretreated with low molecular weight heparin, whereas the serum levels of the anti- inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 were increased (p < 0.01). Interestingly, maximal inhibition was obtained with low low molecular weight heparin doses (5 and 1 μg/mouse, p < 0.001), while higher doses were less effective. Concanavalin A-induced liver injury was not prevented by pretreatment of the mice with heparan sulphate (p < 0.001), which although it is structurally similar to heparin possesses neither anti-inflammatory nor anti- coagulant properties. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the efficacy of low molecular weight heparin in preventing immune- mediated liver damage in mice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)834-840
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Concanavalin A
  • Cytokines
  • Hepatitis
  • Low molecular weight heparin
  • T lymphocytes


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