Background & aims: Fas has been implicated in liver damage. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of its ligand to induce hepatocyte death and liver damage in T cell-dependent hepatitis.
Methods: Fas ligand-mediated lysis of primary hepatocytes from C57BL/6 wild-type, Fas ligand-deficient gld, and Fas-deficient lpr mice and concanavalin A-induced hepatitis in these mice were assessed.
Results: Freshly isolated hepatocytes from wild-type or gld mice, but not those from lpr mice, were susceptible to Fas ligand-mediated lysis. When concanavalin A was intravenously administered into wild-type mice, they developed acute hepatic injury with massive degenerative changes in hepatocytes. In contrast, both gld and lpr mice had lower aminotransferase levels with milder histological changes. Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and flow cytometric analysis showed that Fas ligand was induced in the liver shortly after the concanavalin A injection and was predominantly expressed on intrahepatic T cells. Administration of monoclonal antibody neutralizing mouse Fas ligand could reduce the aminotransferase increase.
Conclusions: The results indicate that Fas ligand plays a role in the T cell-dependent hepatitis induced by concanavalin A administration.