Hepatic ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury associated with liver transplantation and hepatic resection is characterized by hepatocellular damage and a deleterious inflammatory response. In this study, we examined whether receptor for advanced glycation end product (RAGE) activation is linked to mechanisms accentuating inflammation on I/R in a murine model of total hepatic ischemia. Animals treated with soluble RAGE (sRAGE), the extracellular ligand-binding domain of RAGE, displayed increased survival after total hepatic I/R compared with vehicle treatment. TUNEL assay and histologic analysis revealed that blockade of RAGE was highly protective against hepatocellular death and necrosis on I/R; in parallel, proliferating cell nuclear antigen was enhanced in livers of mice treated with sRAGE. Rapid activation of p38, p44/42, stress-activated protein kinase and c-Jun N-terminal kinase mitogen-activated protein kinases, signal transducer and activator of transcription-3, and nuclear translocation of activator protein-1 was evident at early times on I/R. In the remnants of sRAGE-treated livers, however, activation of each of these signaling and transcription factor pathways was strikingly decreased. sRAGE-treated remnants displayed enhanced activation of nuclear factor κB, in parallel with increased transcripts for the proregenerative cytokine, tumor necrosis factor-α. In conclusion, these data suggest that RAGE modulates hepatic I/R injury, at least in part by activation of key signaling pathways linked to proinflammatory and cell death-promoting responses. We propose that blockade of this pathway may represent a novel strategy to attenuate injury in hepatic I/R and to facilitate regeneration.
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