Background: Hepatic platelet accumulation contributes to acetaminophen (APAP)-induced liver injury (AILI). However, little is known about the molecular pathways involved in platelet recruitment to the liver and whether targeting such pathways could attenuate AILI. Methods: Mice were fasted overnight before intraperitoneally (i.p.) injected with APAP at a dose of 210 mg/kg for male mice and 325 mg/kg for female mice. Platelets adherent to Kupffer cells were determined in both mice and patients overdosed with APAP. The impact of a-chitinase 3-like-1 (a-Chi3l1) on alleviation of AILI was determined in a therapeutic setting, and liver injury was analyzed. Results: The present study unveiled a critical role of Chi3l1 in hepatic platelet recruitment during AILI. Increased Chi3l1 and platelets in the liver were observed in patients and mice overdosed with APAP. Compared to wild-type (WT) mice, Chil1-/- mice developed attenuated AILI with markedly reduced hepatic platelet accumulation. Mechanistic studies revealed that Chi3l1 signaled through CD44 on macrophages to induce podoplanin expression, which mediated platelet recruitment through C-type lectin-like receptor 2. Moreover, APAP treatment of Cd44-/- mice resulted in much lower numbers of hepatic platelets and liver injury than WT mice, a phenotype similar to that in Chil1-/- mice. Recombinant Chi3l1 could restore hepatic platelet accumulation and AILI in Chil1-/-mice, but not in Cd44-/- mice. Importantly, we generated anti-Chi3l1 monoclonal antibodies and demonstrated that they could effectively inhibit hepatic platelet accumulation and AILI. Conclusions: We uncovered the Chi3l1/CD44 axis as a critical pathway mediating APAP-induced hepatic platelet recruitment and tissue injury. We demonstrated the feasibility and potential of targeting Chi3l1 to treat AILI.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)