Background:It is of importance to minimize ischemia reperfusion (I/R) injury during liver operations. Reducing the inflammatory reaction is an effective way to achieve this goal. Notably, adiponectin (APN) was found to have anti-inflammatory activity in heart and renal I/R injury. Herein, we investigated the role of APN in liver I/R injury.Methods:Wistar rats were randomized to four groups: (1) sham group; (2) I/R control group; (3) I/R+APN group; and (4) I/R+APN+AMPK inhibitor group. Liver and blood samples were collected 6h and 24h after reperfusion. Liver function and histopathologic changes were assessed. Macrophage and neutrophil infiltration was detected by immunohistochemistry staining, while pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines released in the liver were measured using ELISA and RT-PCR, respectively. Apoptosis was analyzed by TUNEL staining and caspase-3 expression in the liver. Downstream molecules of APN were investigated by Western blotting.Results:Circulatory APN was down-regulated during liver I/R. When exogenous APN treatment was administered during liver I/R, alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were decreased, and less hepatocyte necrosis was observed. Less inflammatory cell infiltration and pro-inflammatory cytokines/chemokines release were also observed in the I/R+APN group when compared with the I/R control group. APN treatment also reduced hepatocyte apoptosis, evidenced by reduced TUNEL positive cells and less caspase-3 expression in the reperfused liver. Finally, the AMPK/eNOS pathway was found to be activated by APN, and administration of an AMPK inhibitor reversed the beneficial effects of APN.Conclusion:APN can protect the liver from I/R injury by reducing the inflammatory response and hepatocyte apoptosis, a process that likely involves the AMPK/eNOS pathway. The current study provides a potential pharmacologic target for liver I/R injury.
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