Von Willebrand factor delays liver repair after acetaminophen-induced acute liver injury in mice

Dafna Groeneveld, Holly Cline-Fedewa, Kevin S. Baker, Kurt J. Williams, Robert A. Roth, Karen Mittermeier, Ton Lisman, Joseph S. Palumbo, James P. Luyendyk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Background & Aim: Acetaminophen (APAP)-induced acute liver failure is associated with substantial alterations in the hemostatic system. In mice, platelets accumulate in the liver after APAP overdose and appear to promote liver injury. Interestingly, patients with acute liver injury have highly elevated levels of the platelet-adhesive protein von Willebrand factor (VWF), but a mechanistic connection between VWF and progression of liver injury has not been established. We tested the hypothesis that VWF contributes directly to experimental APAP-induced acute liver injury. Methods: Wild-type mice and VWF-deficient (Vwf−/−) mice were given a hepatotoxic dose of APAP (300 mg/kg, i.p.) or vehicle (saline). VWF plasma levels were measured by ELISA, and liver necrosis or hepatocyte proliferation was measured by immunohistochemistry. Platelet and VWF deposition were measured by immunofluorescence. Results: In wild-type mice, VWF plasma levels, high molecular weight (HMW) VWF multimers, and VWF activity decreased 24 h after APAP challenge. These changes coupled to robust hepatic VWF and platelet deposition, although VWF deficiency had minimal effect on peak hepatic platelet accumulation or liver injury. VWF plasma levels were elevated 48 h after APAP challenge, but with relative reductions in HMW multimers and VWF activity. Whereas hepatic platelet aggregates persisted in livers of APAP-challenged wild-type mice, platelets were nearly absent in Vwf−/− mice 48 h after APAP challenge. The absence of platelet aggregates was linked to dramatically accelerated repair of the injured liver. Complementing observations in Vwf−/− mice, blocking VWF or the platelet integrin αIIbβ3 during development of injury significantly reduced hepatic platelet aggregation and accelerated liver repair in APAP-challenged wild-type mice. Conclusion: These studies are the first to suggest a mechanistic link between VWF, hepatic platelet accumulation, and liver repair. Targeting VWF might provide a novel therapeutic approach to improve repair of the APAP-injured liver. Lay summary: Patients with acute liver injury due to acetaminophen overdose have highly elevated levels of the platelet-adhesive protein von Willebrand factor. It is not known whether von Willebrand factor plays a direct role in the progression of acute liver injury. We discovered that von Willebrand factor delays repair of the acetaminophen-injured liver in mice and that targeting von Willebrand factor, even in mice with established liver injury, accelerates liver repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-155
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Volume72
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2020

Keywords

  • von Willebrand factor
  • Platelets
  • Coagulation
  • Acute liver njury
  • Thrombosis
  • FACTOR-VIII
  • REBALANCED HEMOSTASIS
  • MOUSE MODEL
  • ADAMTS13
  • PLATELETS
  • FAILURE
  • CONTRIBUTES
  • EXPRESSION
  • PROTEASE
  • DISEASE

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