Hepatic Mrp4 induction following acetaminophen exposure is dependent on Kupffer cell function

Sarah N. Campion, Rachel Johnson, Lauren M. Aleksunes, Michael J. Goedken, Nico Van Rooijen, George L. Scheffer, Nathan J. Cherrington, José E. Manautou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


During acetaminophen (APAP) hepatotoxicity, increased expression of multidrug resistance-associated proteins 2, 3, and 4 (Mrp2-4) occurs. Mrp4 is the most significantly upregulated transporter in mouse liver following APAP treatment. Although the expression profiles of liver transporters following APAP hepatotoxicity are well characterized, the regulatory mechanisms contributing to these changes remain unknown. We hypothesized that Kupffer cell-derived mediators participate in the regulation of hepatic transporters during APAP toxicity. To investigate this, C57BL/6J mice were pretreated with clodronate liposomes (0.1 ml iv) to deplete Kupffer cells and then challenged with APAP (500 mg/kg ip). Liver injury was assessed by plasma alanine aminotransferase and hepatic transporter protein expression was determined by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. Depletion of Kupffer cells by liposomal clodronate increased susceptibility to APAP hepatotoxicity. Although increased expression of several efflux transporters was observed after APAP exposure, only Mrp4 was found to be differentially regulated following Kupffer cell depletion. At 48 and 72 h after APAP dosing, Mrp4 levels were increased by 10- and 33-fold, respectively, in mice receiving empty liposomes. Immunohistochemistry revealed Mrp4 staining confined to centrilobular hepatocytes. Remarkably, Kupffer cell depletion completely prevented Mrp4 induction by APAP. Elevated plasma levels of TNF-α and IL-1β were also prevented by Kupffer cell depletion. These findings show that Kupffer cells protect the liver from APAP toxicity and that Kupffer cell mediators released in response to APAP are likely responsible for the induction of Mrp4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G294-G304
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Abcc4
  • Cytokine
  • Hepatotoxicity
  • Macrophage
  • Multidrug resistance protein
  • Transporter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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