Interleukin 13 gene transfer in liver ischemia and reperfusion injury: Role of Stat6 and TLR4 pathways in cytoprotection

Bibo Ke, Xiu Da Shen, Feng Gao, Ronald W. Busuttil, Jerzy W. Kupiec-Weglinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Ischemia and reperfusion injury (IRI) represents the major problem in clinical liver transplantation. We have shown that transcription of signal transducer and activator of transcription 4 (Stat4) plays a key role in the mechanism of hepatic IRI, whereas local induction of interleukin 13 (IL-13) is cytoprotective. The disruption of innate Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling prevents mouse livers from undergoing fulminant IRI. This study analyzes in vivo interplay between innate (TLR4) and adaptive (Stat6) immunity in Ad-IL-13 (recombinant adenovirus encoding IL-13) cytoprotection in hepatic IRI. Using a partial 90-min lobar warm ischemia model, groups of wild-type and Stat6-deficient knockout mice were assessed for the severity of hepatocellular damage at 6 hr postreperfusion. Unlike in wild-type mice, treatment of Stat6 knockout recipients with Ad-IL-13 failed to improve hepatic function/histology. The expression of mRNAs encoding tumor necrosis factor α/IL-1β and IL-2/interferon γ remained depressed in the wild-type plus Ad-IL-13 group, but not in the Stat6 knockout plus Ad-IL-13 group. Ad-IL-13 increased antioxidant heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) expression and prevented TLR4 activation in livers of Stat6-competent (wild-type) mice. In contrast, low HO-1 expression and enhanced TLR4 expression were recorded in Stat6 knockout recipients despite Ad-IL-13 therapy. Thus (1) Stat6 is required for Ad-IL-13 to prevent IRI, and (2) depression of TLR4 activation is Stat6 dependent. In conclusion, the Stat6 pathway operates as a key negative regulator in the hepatic inflammatory ischemia-reperfusion response. This study outlines requirements for Ad-IL-13 use to maximize the organ donor pool through the use of liver transplants despite prolonged ischemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)691-698
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Gene Therapy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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