Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) is a membrane scaffolding protein, which functions to regulate intracellular compartmentalization of various signaling molecules. In the present studies, transgenic mice with a targeted disruption of the Cav-1 gene (Cav-1-/-) were used to assess the role of Cav-1 in acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity. Treatment of wild-type mice with acetaminophen (300 mg/kg) resulted in centrilobular hepatic necrosis and increases in serum transaminases. This was correlated with decreased expression of Cav-1 in the liver. Acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity was significantly attenuated in Cav-1-/- mice, an effect that was independent of acetaminophen metabolism. Acetaminophen administration resulted in increased hepatic expression of the oxidative stress marker, lipocalin 24p3, as well as hemeoxygenase-1, but decreased glutathione and superoxide dismutase-1; no differences were noted between the genotypes suggesting that reduced toxicity in Cav-1-/- mice is not due to alterations in antioxidant defense. In wild-type mice, acetaminophen increased mRNA expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin-1β, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), as well as cyclooxygenase-2, while 15-lipoxygenase (15-LOX), which generates anti-inflammatory lipoxins, decreased. Acetaminophen-induced changes in MCP-1 and 15-LOX expression were greater in Cav-1-/- mice. Although expression of tumor necrosis factor-α, a potent hepatocyte mitogen, was up-regulated in the liver of Cav-1-/- mice after acetaminophen, expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen and survivin, markers of cellular proliferation, were delayed, which may reflect the reduced need for tissue repair. Taken together, these data demonstrate that Cav-1 plays a role in promoting inflammation and toxicity during the pathogenesis of acetaminophen-induced injury.
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