Role of CCR2 in macrophage migration into the liver during acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in the mouse

Hepatology. 2002 May;35(5):1093-103. doi: 10.1053/jhep.2002.33162.


The biological effects of monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP) 1 are mediated by binding to C-C chemokine receptor (CCR) 2. In the present studies, we used CCR2 knockout (CCR2-/-) mice to examine the role of MCP-1 in acetaminophen-induced macrophage accumulation in the liver, expression of inflammatory cytokines, and hepatotoxicity. We found that hepatic expression of CCR2 and MCP-1 was increased 10-fold and 20-fold, respectively, 12 to 72 hours after administration of acetaminophen to wild-type mice. Expression of these proteins was localized in centrilobular regions of the liver. Whereas MCP-1 was expressed by both hepatocytes and macrophages, CCR2 was identified in inflammatory macrophages. F4/80 is a marker of mature macrophages expressed in large quantities by Kupffer cells. In wild-type mice, a 75% decrease in F4/80-positive macrophages was observed 24 to 48 hours after administration of acetaminophen. In contrast, expression of macrosialin (CD68), a marker of activated macrophages, increased 2-fold 24 to 72 hours after administration of acetaminophen and was associated with inflammatory cells. Although there was a decrease in the overall severity of inflammation and in the number of macrosialin-positive macrophages 72 hours after administration of acetaminophen in CCR2-/- mice, the number of F4/80-positive cells did not change. Loss of CCR2 was also found to alter acetaminophen-induced expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha, monocyte chemoattractant protein 3, and KC/gro. However, the overall outcome of acetaminophen-induced hepatic injury was not affected. In conclusion, these data indicate that MCP-1 and CCR2 contribute to the recruitment of a subset of activated macrophages into the liver during acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity that may be important in resolution of tissue injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / toxicity*
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / immunology*
  • Chemokine CCL2 / metabolism
  • Gene Expression / immunology
  • Interleukin-1 / genetics
  • Liver / immunology*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Macrophages / cytology*
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Receptors, CCR2
  • Receptors, Chemokine / genetics
  • Receptors, Chemokine / metabolism*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics


  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
  • Ccr2 protein, mouse
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Interleukin-1
  • Receptors, CCR2
  • Receptors, Chemokine
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Acetaminophen