Thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC) is a recently identified lymphocyte-directed CC chemokine which specifically chemoattracts T helper type 2 CD4(+) T cells in human. To establish the pathophysiological roles of TARC in vivo, we investigated whether a monoclonal antibody (mAb) against TARC could inhibit the induction of hepatic lesions in murine model using Propionibacterium acnes and lipopolysaccharide (LPS). P. acnes-induced intrahepatic granuloma formation in the priming phase is essential to the subsequent liver injury elicited by a low dose of LPS. The priming phase appears to be dominated by Th1 type immune responses determined by the profile of chemokine and chemokine receptor expression. TARC was selectively produced by granuloma-forming cells, and CC chemokine receptor 4 (CCR4)-expressing CD4(+) T cells migrated into the liver after LPS administration. In vivo injection of anti-TARC mAb just before LPS administration protected the mice from acute lethal liver damage, which was accompanied by a significant reduction of both CCR4 mRNA expression and IL-4 production by liver-infiltrating CD4(+) T cells. Moreover, both TNF-alpha and Fas ligand expressions in the liver were decreased by anti-TARC treatment. These results suggest that recruitment of IL-4-producing CCR4(+) CD4(+) T cells by granuloma-derived TARC into the liver parenchyma may be a key cause of massive liver injury after systemic LPS administration.
H Yoneyama, A Harada, T Imai, M Baba, O Yoshie, Y Zhang, H Higashi, M Murai, H Asakura, K Matsushima