CSF1 Restores Innate Immunity After Liver Injury in Mice and Serum Levels Indicate Outcomes of Patients With Acute Liver Failure

Gastroenterology. 2015 Dec;149(7):1896-1909.e14. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2015.08.053. Epub 2015 Sep 5.


Background & aims: Liver regeneration requires functional liver macrophages, which provide an immune barrier that is compromised after liver injury. The numbers of liver macrophages are controlled by macrophage colony-stimulating factor (CSF1). We examined the prognostic significance of the serum level of CSF1 in patients with acute liver injury and studied its effects in mice.

Methods: We measured levels of CSF1 in serum samples collected from 55 patients who underwent partial hepatectomy at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh between December 2012 and October 2013, as well as from 78 patients with acetaminophen-induced acute liver failure admitted to the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh or the University of Kansas Medical Centre. We studied the effects of increased levels of CSF1 in uninjured mice that express wild-type CSF1 receptor or a constitutive or inducible CSF1-receptor reporter, as well as in chemokine receptor 2 (Ccr2)-/- mice; we performed fate-tracing experiments using bone marrow chimeras. We administered CSF1-Fc (fragment, crystallizable) to mice after partial hepatectomy and acetaminophen intoxication, and measured regenerative parameters and innate immunity by clearance of fluorescent microbeads and bacterial particles.

Results: Serum levels of CSF1 increased in patients undergoing liver surgery in proportion to the extent of liver resected. In patients with acetaminophen-induced acute liver failure, a low serum level of CSF1 was associated with increased mortality. In mice, administration of CSF1-Fc promoted hepatic macrophage accumulation via proliferation of resident macrophages and recruitment of monocytes. CSF1-Fc also promoted transdifferentiation of infiltrating monocytes into cells with a hepatic macrophage phenotype. CSF1-Fc increased innate immunity in mice after partial hepatectomy or acetaminophen-induced injury, with resident hepatic macrophage as the main effector cells.

Conclusions: Serum CSF1 appears to be a prognostic marker for patients with acute liver injury. CSF1 might be developed as a therapeutic agent to restore innate immune function after liver injury.

Keywords: Clearance; Drug-Induced Liver Damage; Immune Response; M-CSF.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transdifferentiation*
  • Colony-Stimulating Factors*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver Failure, Acute / immunology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL


  • Colony-Stimulating Factors