Nuclear factor-kappaB1 (p50) limits the inflammatory and fibrogenic responses to chronic injury

Fiona Oakley, Jelena Mann, Sarah Nailard, David E Smart, Narendra Mungalsingh, Christothea M Constandinou, Shakir Ali, Susan J Wilson, Harry Millward-Sadler, John P Iredale, Derek A Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study we addressed the role of the nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB1/p50 subunit in chronic injury of the liver by determining the inflammatory and fibrotic responses of nfkappab1-null mice in an experimental model that mimics chronic liver disease. Mice received repeated hepatic injuries throughout 12 weeks by intraperitoneal injection of the hepatotoxin carbon tetrachloride. In response nfkappab1(-/-) mice developed more severe neutrophilic inflammation and fibrosis compared to nfkappab1(+/+) mice. This phenotype was associated with elevated hepatic expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, which was localized to regions of the liver associated with inflammation and fibrosis. Hepatic stellate cells are important regulators of hepatic inflammatory and fibrogenic events but normally do not express TNF-alpha. Hepatic stellate cells derived from nfkappab1(-/-) mice expressed TNF-alpha promoter activity, mRNA, and protein. By contrast the expression of other NF-kappaB-responsive genes (ICAM1 and interleukin-6) was similar between nfkappab1(-/-) and nfkappab1(+/+) cells. We provide experimental evidence that the inappropriate expression of TNF-alpha by nfkappab1(-/-) cells is because of lack of a p50-dependent histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1)-mediated repression of TNF-alpha gene transcription. Taken together these data indicate that the p50 NF-kappaB subunit plays a critical protective role in the injured liver by limiting the expression of TNF-alpha and its recruitment of inflammatory cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-708
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • histone deacetylases
  • NF-kappa B p50 Subunit
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


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