TNFR1 determines progression of chronic liver injury in the IKKγ/Nemo genetic model

Cell Death Differ. 2013 Nov;20(11):1580-92. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2013.112. Epub 2013 Aug 9.


Death receptor-mediated hepatocyte apoptosis is implicated in a wide range of liver diseases including viral and alcoholic hepatitis, ischemia/reperfusion injury, fulminant hepatic failure, cholestatic liver injury, as well as cancer. Deletion of NF-κB essential modulator in hepatocytes (IKKγ/Nemo) causes spontaneous progression of TNF-mediated chronic hepatitis to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Thus, we analyzed the role of death receptors including TNFR1 and TRAIL in the regulation of cell death and the progression of liver injury in IKKγ/Nemo-deleted livers. We crossed hepatocyte-specific IKKγ/Nemo knockout mice (Nemo(Δhepa)) with constitutive TNFR1(-/-) and TRAIL(-/-) mice. Deletion of TNFR1, but not TRAIL, decreased apoptotic cell death, compensatory proliferation, liver fibrogenesis, infiltration of immune cells as well as pro-inflammatory cytokines, and indicators of tumor growth during the progression of chronic liver injury. These events were associated with diminished JNK activation. In contrast, deletion of TNFR1 in bone-marrow-derived cells promoted chronic liver injury. Our data demonstrate that TNF- and not TRAIL signaling determines the progression of IKKγ/Nemo-dependent chronic hepatitis. Additionally, we show that TNFR1 in hepatocytes and immune cells have different roles in chronic liver injury-a finding that has direct implications for treating chronic liver disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Progression
  • I-kappa B Kinase / genetics
  • I-kappa B Kinase / metabolism*
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Lung Injury / enzymology
  • Lung Injury / genetics
  • Lung Injury / metabolism*
  • Lung Injury / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Genetic
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I / genetics
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • NEMO protein, mouse
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I
  • Tnfrsf1a protein, mouse
  • I-kappa B Kinase