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Hoffmann, F.; Sass, G.; Zillies, Jan; Zahler, Stefan; Fuchs, S.; Wagner, J.; Winter, Gerhard; Coester, C.; Gerbes, Alexander L. and Vollmar, Angelika M. (2009): A novel technique for selective NF-kappa B inhibition in Kupffer cells: contrary effects in fulminant hepatitis and ischaemia-reperfusion. In: Gut, Vol. 58: 1670-1678. [PDF, 2MB]

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Background and aims: The transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) has risen as a promising target for anti-inflammatory therapeutics. In the liver, however, NFkB inhibition mediates both damaging and protective effects. The outcome is deemed to depend on the liver cell type addressed. Recent gene knock-out studies focused on the role of NF-kB in hepatocytes, whereas the role of NF-kB in Kupffer cells has not yet been investigated in vivo. Here we present a novel approach, which may be suitable for clinical application, to selectively target NF-kB in Kupffer cells and analyse the effects in experimental models of liver injury. Methods: NF-kB inhibiting decoy oligodeoxynucleotides were loaded upon gelatin nanoparticles (D-NPs) and their in vivo distribution was determined by confocal microscopy. Liver damage, NF-kB activity, cytokine levels and apoptotic protein expression were evaluated after lipopolysaccharide (LPS), D-galactosamine (GalN)/LPS, or concanavalin A (ConA) challenge and partial warm ischaemia and subsequent reperfusion, respectively. Results: D-NPs were selectively taken up by Kupffer cells and inhibited NF-kB activation. Inhibition of NF-kB in Kupffer cells improved survival and reduced liver injury after GalN/LPS as well as after ConA challenge. While anti-apoptotic protein expression in liver tissue was not reduced, pro-apoptotic players such as cJun N-terminal kinase (JNK) were inhibited. In contrast, selective inhibition of NF-kB augmented reperfusion injury. Conclusions: NF-kB inhibiting decoy oligodeoxynucleotide- loaded gelatin nanoparticles is a novel tool to selectively inhibit NF-kB activation in Kupffer cells in vivo. Thus, liver injury can be reduced in experimental fulminant hepatitis, but increased at ischaemia–reperfusion.

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