Deletion of C-C Motif Chemokine Ligand 5 Worsens Invariant Natural Killer T-Cell-Mediated Hepatitis via Compensatory Up-regulation of CXCR2-Related Chemokine Activity.Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019; 7(3):623-639.CM
BACKGROUND & AIMS
Chemokine-mediated immune cell recruitment plays pivotal roles in liver inflammation. C-C motif chemokine ligand 5 (CCL5) has been shown to be responsible for the recruitment of monocytes/macrophages and has been implicated in various liver diseases, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, fibrosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Previous studies have also shown that inhibition of CCL5 appears to be a promising therapeutic approach for several chronic liver diseases. However, whether blocking CCL5 could benefit immune cell-mediated hepatitis remains largely elusive.
By adopting a specific agonist, alpha-galactosylceramide (α-Galcer), of invariant natural killer T cells (iNKTs), we investigated the function and mechanism of CCL5 in the iNKT induced murine hepatitis model.
We found significantly increased CCL5 expression in α-Galcer-induced hepatitis murine model. Such an increase in CCL5 is mainly enriched in non-parenchymal cells such as macrophages and iNKTs but not in hepatocytes. Surprisingly, CCL5 blockage by genetic deletion of Ccl5 does not affect the α-Galcer-induced iNKT activation but greatly worsens α-Galcer-induced liver injury accompanied by an increased hepatic neutrophil infiltration. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that greater neutrophil accumulation in the liver is responsible for the enhanced liver injury in Ccl5-/- mice. Such an increased hepatic neutrophil infiltration is mainly caused by an enhanced CXCL1-CXCR2 signal in Ccl5-/- mice. Therapeutically, either antibody-mediated neutrophil depletion or a CXCR2 antagonist, SB225002, mediated CXCR2 signaling blockage significantly ameliorated α-Galcer-induced liver injury in Ccl5-/- mice.
Our present study demonstrates that (1) α-Galcer-induced murine hepatitis could greatly induce CCL5 production in macrophages and iNKT cells; (2) loss of CCL5 could enhance CXCL1 expression in hepatocytes and activate CXCL1-CXCR2 axis in neutrophils to augment their hepatic infiltration; and (3) neutrophil depletion or blockage of CXCL1-CXCR2 axis greatly improves α-Galcer-induced liver injury in Ccl5-/- mice. This study suggests that clinical utilization of CCL5 blockage may compensatorily induce the activation of other chemokine pathways to enhance neutrophil recruitment and liver injury in hepatitis.