For years, the term "apoptosis" was used synonymously with programmed cell death. However, it was recently discovered that receptor interacting protein 3 (RIP3)-dependent "necroptosis" represents an alternative programmed cell death pathway activated in many inflamed tissues. Here, we show in a genetic model of chronic hepatic inflammation that activation of RIP3 limits immune responses and compensatory proliferation of liver parenchymal cells (LPC) by inhibiting Caspase-8-dependent activation of Jun-(N)-terminal kinase in LPC and nonparenchymal liver cells. In this way, RIP3 inhibits intrahepatic tumor growth and impedes the Caspase-8-dependent establishment of specific chromosomal aberrations that mediate resistance to tumor-necrosis-factor-induced apoptosis and underlie hepatocarcinogenesis. Moreover, RIP3 promotes the development of jaundice and cholestasis, because its activation suppresses compensatory proliferation of cholangiocytes and hepatic stem cells. These findings demonstrate a function of RIP3 in regulating carcinogenesis and cholestasis. Controlling RIP3 or Caspase-8 might represent a chemopreventive or therapeutic strategy against hepatocellular carcinoma and biliary disease.
Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.