The Journal of surgical research

Butyrate protects liver against ischemia reperfusion injury by inhibiting nuclear factor kappa B activation in Kupffer cells.

PMID 24445056


The inflammatory response after hepatic ischemia reperfusion (I/R) contributes to liver dysfunction and failure after transplantation. Butyrate is a four-carbon fatty acid, normally produced by bacterial fermentation of fiber in mammalian intestines, with anti-inflammatory activities. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the protective effect of butyrate preconditioning, if any, against hepatic I/R injury in rats and the underlying mechanisms involved. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to a partial (70%) hepatic ischemia for 60 min after pretreatment with either vehicle or butyrate, followed by 3, 6, and 24 h of reperfusion. Hepatic injury was evaluated by biochemical and histopathologic examinations. Neutrophil infiltration was measured by myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity. The expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Elisa) and Real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The expression of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) p65 was determined by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. Butyrate treatment markedly improved hepatic function and histology, as indicated by reduced transaminase levels and ameliorated tissue pathologic changes. The expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-6, and myeloperoxidase activity was attenuated by butyrate. Butyrate also reduced I/R-induced nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 in Kupffer cells. Our results suggest that butyrate alleviates I/R-induced liver injury, possibly by suppressing inflammatory factors production and preventing NF-κB activation in Kupffer cells.