Liver ischemia and ischemia-reperfusion induces and trafficks the multi-specific metal transporter Atp7b to bile duct canaliculi: possible preferential transport of iron into bile

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2008 Apr;122(1):26-41. doi: 10.1007/s12011-007-8057-8. Epub 2007 Nov 7.


Both Atp7b (Wilson disease gene) and Atp7a (Menkes disease gene) have been reported to be trafficked by copper. Atp7b is trafficked to the bile duct canaliculi and Atp7a to the plasma membrane. Whether or not liver ischemia or ischemia-reperfusion modulates Atp7b expression and trafficking has not been reported. In this study, we report for the first time that the multi-specific metal transporter Atp7b is significantly induced and trafficked by both liver ischemia alone and liver ischemia-reperfusion, as judged by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analyses. Although hepatocytes also stained for Atp7b, localized intense staining of Atp7b was found on bile duct canaliculi. Inductive coupled plasma-mass spectrometry analysis of bile copper, iron, zinc, and manganese found a corresponding significant increase in biliary iron. In our attempt to determine if the increased biliary iron transport observed may be a result of altered bile flow, lysosomal trafficking, or glutathione biliary transport, we measured bile flow, bile acid phosphatase activity, and glutathione content. No significant difference was found in bile flow, bile acid phosphatase activity, and glutathione, between control livers and livers subjected to ischemia-reperfusion. Thus, we conclude that liver ischemia and ischemia-reperfusion induction and trafficking Atp7b to the bile duct canaliculi may contribute to preferential iron transport into bile.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / analysis
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Aspartate Aminotransferase, Mitochondrial / metabolism
  • Bile / metabolism*
  • Bile Canaliculi / cytology
  • Bile Canaliculi / metabolism*
  • Biological Transport
  • Cation Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Ceruloplasmin / metabolism
  • Copper-Transporting ATPases
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Ischemia / metabolism*
  • Liver / blood supply*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism*
  • Trace Elements / analysis


  • Actins
  • Cation Transport Proteins
  • Trace Elements
  • Iron
  • Ceruloplasmin
  • Aspartate Aminotransferase, Mitochondrial
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • Copper-Transporting ATPases