Background & aims: Interleukin (IL) 2 is used in advanced cancers, but its effects on cytochrome P450 remain unknown. Other cytokines down-regulate hepatic cytochrome P450, but it is not known whether this involves cytokine receptors. The aim of this study was to determine whether the IL-2 receptor is expressed on hepatocytes and whether its activation by IL-2 depresses cytochrome P450 in cultured rat hepatocytes.
Methods: A monoclonal antibody specific for the rat IL-2 receptor alpha chain was used to label the receptor, whereas effects on cytochrome P450 were determined after 24 hours of culture with human recombinant IL-2 (5000 U/mL).
Results: The presence of the IL-2 receptor in hepatocytes was shown by immunoblots, flow cytometry, and scanning confocal microscopy. IL-2 caused a 46% decrease in total cytochrome P450; a 35%, 35%, 36%, 26%, and 56% decrease in immunoreactive cytochrome P4501A1, 2B, 2C11, 2D1, and 3A, respectively; and a marked decrease in cytochrome P4503A2 and 2C11 messenger RNAs. Addition to the culture medium of the anti-receptor antibody or the tyrosine kinase inhibitor genistein prevented the IL-2-mediated decrease in cytochrome P450.
Conclusions: IL-2 down-regulates the expression of cytochrome P450 genes in cultured rat hepatocytes by interacting with its receptor expressed on hepatocytes.