Role of splenic reservoir monocytes in pulmonary vascular monocyte accumulation in experimental hepatopulmonary syndrome

Wei Wu, Junlan Zhang, Wenli Yang, Bingqian Hu, Michael B. Fallon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background and Aim: Pulmonary monocyte infiltration plays a significant role in the development of angiogenesis in experimental hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS) after common bile duct ligation (CBDL). Hepatic monocytes are also increased after CBDL, but the origins remain unclear. Splenic reservoir monocytes have been identified as a major source of monocytes that accumulate in injured tissues. Whether splenic monocytes contribute to monocyte alterations after CBDL is unknown. This study evaluates monocyte distributions and assesses effects of splenectomy on monocyte levels and pulmonary vascular and hepatic abnormalities in experimental HPS. Methods: Splenectomy was performed in CBDL animals. Monocyte levels in different tissues and circulation were assessed with CD68. Pulmonary alterations of HPS were evaluated with vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) levels, angiogenesis, and alveolar–arterial oxygen gradient (AaPO 2 ). Liver abnormalities were evaluated with fibrosis (Sirius red), bile duct proliferation (CK-19), and enzymatic changes. Results: Monocyte levels increased in the lung and liver after CBDL and were accompanied by elevated circulating monocyte numbers. Splenectomy significantly decreased monocyte accumulation, VEGF-A levels, and angiogenesis in CBDL animal lung and improved AaPO 2 levels. In contrast, hepatic monocyte levels, fibrosis, and functional abnormalities were further exacerbated by spleen removal. Conclusions: Splenic reservoir monocytes are a major source for lung monocyte accumulation after CBDL, and spleen removal attenuates the development of experimental HPS. Liver monocytes may have different origins, and accumulation is exacerbated after depletion of splenic reservoir monocytes. Tissue specific monocyte alterations, influenced by the spleen reservoir, have a significant impact on pulmonary complications of liver disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1888-1894
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • cell and molecular biology
  • common bile duct ligation
  • hepatopulmonary syndrome
  • monocyte
  • spleen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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