Cytokine induction of haem oxygenase mRNA in mouse liver: Interleukin 1 transcriptionally activates the haem oxygenase gene

M. Rizzardini, M. Terao, F. Falciani, L. Cantoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Accumulation of the mRNA coding for haem oxygenase (HO, EC 1.14.99.3) was stimulated by treating mice with endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS; 20 μg/mouse intraperitoneally), suggesting that haem catabolism is a target of infection and inflammation in vivo. Therefore various cytokines, possible mediators for the biological responses to LPS, were administered intraperitoneally to mice, and the levels of HO mRNA were measured by Northern-blotting analysis using the rat HO cDNA as a probe. Marked induction of HO mRNA was observed 2 h after administration of interleukin 1 (IL-1) (34-fold) and tumour necrosis factor (19.5-fold) (5 μg/mouse), whereas interleukin 6 (6.2 μg/mouse) was much less active (3.5-fold) and interleukin 2 (25 μg/mouse) and interferon-γ (3 μg/mouse) were ineffective. HO mRNA induced by the cytokines or LPS accumulated rapidly (maximum at 1-2 h after administration), preceding the elevation of HO enzymic activity. Treatment of mice with IL-1 stimulated the transcription of the HO gene by 4-fold, as assessed by in vitro nuclear-run-on assay. These results indicate that enzymic haem catabolism in the liver is a process inducible in vivo by inflammatory cytokines, which up-regulate HO synthesis at the transcriptional level. Increased removal of haem might be part of the protective mechanisms elicited by the acute-phase response, possibly to reduce the pro-oxidant state of the cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-347
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical Journal
Volume290
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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