Hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) occurs in multiple clinical settings, including liver transplantation. The cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) pathway inhibits hepatocellular apoptosis and regulates toll-like receptor 4-triggered inflammation responses in vitro. Here we examined the function and therapeutic potential of cAMP-PKA activation in a murine (C57/BL6) model of liver warm ischemia (90 minutes) followed by reperfusion. Liver IRI triggered cAMP-PKA activation, whereas the administration of its specific inhibitor, H89, exacerbated hepatocellular damage. Conversely, forskolin therapy, which activates PKA by elevating cAMP levels, protected livers from IRI; this was evidenced by diminished serum alanine aminotransferase levels and well-preserved tissue architecture. Liver protection due to cAMP-PKA stimulation was accompanied by diminished neutrophil and macrophage infiltration/activation, reduced hepatocyte necrosis/apoptosis, and increased cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) expression and augmented interleukin-10 (IL-10) expression. The neutralization of IL-10 restored liver damage in otherwise ischemia/reperfusion-resistant, forskolin-treated mice. In vitro, cAMP-PKA activation diminished macrophage tumor necrosis factor α, IL-6, and IL-12 in an IL-10-dependent manner and prevented necrosis/apoptosis in primary mouse hepatocyte cultures. Our novel findings in a mouse model of liver IRI document the importance of cAMP-PKA signaling in hepatic homeostasis and cytoprotection in vivo. The activation of cAMP-PKA signaling differentially regulates local inflammation and prevents hepatocyte death, and this provides a rationale for novel therapeutic approaches to combating liver IRI in transplant recipients.
Copyright © 2012 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.