Hongna Pan1, Feng Hong1, Svetlana Radaeva1 and Bin Gao1, 2
1Section on Liver Biology, Laboratory of Physiologic Studies, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
2Corresponding to: Dr. Bin Gao, Chief, Section on Liver Biology, NIAAA/NIH, Park Bldg Rm 120, 12420 Parklawn Drive, MSC 8115, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Tel: 301-443-3998; E-mail: email@example.com.
Interleukin-22 (IL-22) is a recently identified T cell-derived cytokine whose biological significance remains obscure. Previously, we have shown that IL-22 plays a protective role in T cell-mediated hepatitis induced by Concanavalin A (Con A), acting as a survival factor for hepatocytes. In the present paper, we demonstrate that hydrodynamic gene delivery of IL-22 cDNA driven either by a liver-specific albumin promoter or a human cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter results in IL-22 protein expression, STAT3 activation, and expression of several anti-apoptotic proteins, including Bcl-xL, Bcl-2, and Mcl-1 in the liver. Immunohistochemical analysis reveals that IL-22 protein expression is mainly detected in the cytoplasm of hepatocytes. Overexpression of IL-22 by hydrodynamic gene delivery significantly protects against liver injury, necrosis, and apoptosis induced by administration of Con A, carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), or the Fas agonist Jo-2 mAb. Western blot analyses show that overexpression of IL-22 significantly enhances activation of STAT3 and expression of Bcl-xL, Bcl-2, and Mcl-1 proteins in liver injury induced by Con A. In conclusion, hydrodynamic gene delivery of IL-22 protects against liver injury induced by a variety of toxins, suggesting the therapeutic potential of IL-22 in treating human liver disease.
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