Patients with tienilic acid hepatitis exhibit autoantibodies that recognize unalkylated cytochrome P450 2C9 in humans but recognize 2C11 in rats. Our aim was to determine whether the immune reaction is also directed against neoantigens. Rats were treated with tienilic acid and hepatocytes were isolated. Immunoprecipitation, immunoblotting, and flow cytometry experiments were performed with an anti-tienilic acid or an anti-cytochrome P450 2C11 antibody. Cytochrome P450 2C11 was the main microsomal or plasma membrane protein that was alkylated by tienilic acid. Inhibitors of vesicular transport decreased flow cytometric recognition of both unalkylated and tienilic acid-alkylated cytochrome P450 2C11 on the plasma membrane of cultured hepatocytes. Tienilic acid hepatitis sera that were preadsorbed on microsomes from untreated rats (to remove autoantibodies), poorly recognized untreated hepatocytes in flow cytometry experiments, but better recognized tienilic acid-treated hepatocytes. This recognition was decreased by adsorption with tienilic acid or by preexposure to the anti-tienilic acid or the anti-cytochrome P450 2C11 antibody. We conclude that cytochrome P450 2C11 is alkylated by tienilic acid and follows a vesicular route to the plasma membrane. Tienilic acid hepatitis sera contain antibodies against this tienilic acid adduct, in addition to the previously described anticytochrome P450 autoantibodies.
M A Robin, M Maratrat, M Le Roy, F P Le Breton, E Bonierbale, P Dansette, F Ballet, D Mansuy, D Pessayre