Suramin decreases injury and improves regeneration of ethanol-induced steatotic partial liver grafts

Songqing He, Hasibur Rehman, Yanjun Shi, Yasodha Krishnasamy, John J. Lemasters, Rick G. Schnellmann, Zhi Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Steatotic grafts are excluded for use in partial liver transplantation (LT) because of the increased risk of primary nonfunction. This study investigated the effects of suramin, a polysulfonated naphthylurea, on the outcome of steatotic partial LT. Rat livers were harvested after acute ethanol treatment (6 g/kg, intragastric administration), reduced in size to ̃1/3, and transplanted. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and total bilirubin levels as well as hepatic necrosis and apoptosis were significantly higher after transplantation of fatty partial grafts (FPG) than lean partial grafts (LPG). Suramin (5 mg/ kg, i.p.) decreased ALT by ̃60%, hyperbilirubinemia by 75%, necrosis by 83%, and apoptosis by 70% after FPG transplantation. Hepatic cellular 5-bromo-29-deoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation increased to 28% in LPG but was only 2% in FPG at 48 hours, and the mitotic index increased to 7% in LPG but was only 0.2% in FPG, indicating suppressed regeneration in FPG. Suramin increased BrdU incorporation and the mitotic index to 43% and 9%, respectively, in FPG. All FPG recipients died within 5 days. Suramin recovered survival of FPG to 62%. Tumor necrosis factor-A (TNF-α) mRNA was 2.2-fold higher in FPG than in LPG and was associated with activation of caspase- 8 and caspase-3 in FPG. Suramin decreased TNF-α and caspase activation in FPG. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), phospho-Smad2/3 and p21Cip1 were significantly higher in FPG than in LPG and suramin blocked TGF-β formation and its down-stream signaling pathway. Taken together, suramin improves the outcome of FPG transplantation, most likely by inhibition of TNF-α and TGF-β formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-425
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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