Effects of Hepatic Ischemia–Reperfusion Injuries and NRF2 on Transcriptional Activities of Bile Transporters in Rats

Joohyun Kim, Alicia Martin, Jennifer Yee, Lynn Fojut, Aron M. Geurts, Kiyoko Oshima, Michael A. Zimmerman, Johnny C. Hong

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8 Scopus citations


Background: The effect of hepatic ischemia–reperfusion injury (IRI) on bile transporter (BT) gene expression is unknown. We hypothesized that abnormal expression of BTs during hepatic IRI is dependent on nuclear factor erythroid 2–related factor 2 (NRF2), which contributes to the cholestasis after reperfusion. Methods: Sham surgery and short (60 min) or long (90 min) periods of warm ischemia time (WIT) with or without reperfusion for 24 h were applied to wild-type Sprague–Dawley rats and Nrf2 knockout rats (n = 5 per group). At each stage of IRI, the serum levels of aminotransferase, total bilirubin, and bile acids were measured. In addition, hepatic tissue was sampled to determine the histologic score of IRI (Suzuki score), measure adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and identify the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reactions of BTs (Oatp1, Ntcp, Mrp2, Bsep, and Mrp3). Results: In short periods of WIT, BT expression increased during the ischemia stage and returned to the baseline after reperfusion. However, in long periods of WIT, BT expression did not increase after ischemia and decreased further after reperfusion. Short WIT did not increase BT expression in Nrf2 knockout animals. The level of BT expression was correlated with the Suzuki score, the serum levels of aminotransferase, bilirubin, and bile acids, and tissue ATP level. Stepwise multiple regression analysis derived equations to predict the Suzuki score (R2 = 76.8, P < 0.001), serum total bilirubin (R2 = 61.2, P < 0.001), and tissue ATP (R2 = 61.1, P < 0.001). Conclusions: Short WIT induces the transcriptional activities of BT, whereas long WIT depresses them, and the effect was blunted by Nrf2 knockout status. BT expression can be considered a surrogate marker for hepatic IRI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-82
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Mar 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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