Distinct responses between healthy and cirrhotic human livers upon lipopolysaccharide challenge: possible implications for acute-on-chronic liver failure

Su Suriguga, Mei Li, Theerut Luangmonkong, Miriam Boersema, Koert P. de Jong, Dorenda Oosterhuis, A. R. Gorter, Leonie Beljaars, Peter Olinga*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) are at risk of developing acute hepatic decompensation and organ failures with an unraveled complex mechanism. An altered immune response toward insults in cirrhotic compared with healthy livers may contribute to the ACLF development. Therefore, we aim to investigate the differences in inflammatory responses between cirrhotic and healthy livers using human precision-cut liver slices (PCLSs) upon the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge. PCLSs prepared from livers of patients with cirrhosis or healthy donors of liver transplantation were incubated ex vivo with or without LPS for up to 48 h. Viability test, qRT-PCR, and multiplex cytokine assay were performed. Regulation of the LPS receptors during incubation or with LPS challenge differed between healthy versus cirrhotic PCLSs. LPS upregulated TLR-2 in healthy PCLSs solely (P < 0.01). Culturing for 48 h induced a stronger inflammatory response in the cirrhotic than healthy PCLS. Upon LPS stimulation, cirrhotic PCLSs secreted more proinflammatory cytokines (IL-8, IL-6, TNF-α, eotaxin, and VEGF) significantly and less anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-1ra) than those of healthy. In summary, cirrhotic PCLSs released more proinflammatory and less anti-inflammatory cytokines after LPS stimuli than healthy, leading to dysregulated inflammatory response. These events could possibly resemble the liver immune response in ACLF.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Precision-cut liver slices (PCLSs) model provides a unique platform to investigate the different immune responses of healthy versus cirrhotic livers in humans. Our data show that cirrhotic PCLSs exhibit excessive inflammatory response accompanied by a lower anti-inflammatory cytokine release in response to LPS; a better understanding of this alteration may guide the novel therapeutic approaches to mitigate the excessive inflammation during the onset of acute-on-chronic liver failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G114-G125
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1-Aug-2022


  • acute-on-chronic liver failure
  • cirrhosis
  • human liver
  • lipopolysaccharide
  • precision-cut liver slices


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