Complement activates Kupffer cells and neutrophils during reperfusion after hepatic ischemia

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology




4 27-4




glutathione; inflammation; liver; reactive oxygen; superoxide


The hypothesis that complement factors may be involved in the postischemic activation of Kupffer cells (KC) and polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) was investigated in a model of hepatic ischemia (45 min) and reperfusion in male Fischer rats in vivo. Depletion of serum complement before ischemia resulted in a significant attenuation of the KC-induced oxidant stress (enhanced oxidation of plasma glutathione) and also prevented the accumulation of PMNs in the liver during the initial reperfusion period of 1 h. Complement activation through injection of cobra venom factor (CVF; 75 μg CVF/kg) also induced enhanced oxidation of plasma glutathione and accumulation of PMNs in the liver. Isolation of KC and PMNs from the liver 1 h after CVF treatment demonstrated a similar priming effect for stimulation with phorbol myristate acetate and opsonized zymosan as was observed in the postischemic liver. Complement-depleted animals and animals pretreated with the soluble human complement receptor type 1 (BRL 55730; 22.5 mg/kg) accumulated significantly less PMNs in the postischemic livers during longer reperfusion periods (24 h) and sustained significantly less injury. It is concluded that complement is involved in the induction of a KC-induced oxidant stress, the priming of KC and PMNs for enhanced reactive oxygen generation, and the continuous accumulation of PMNs in the liver during reperfusion.

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