Biochemical Journal

Research article

S-Adenosylmethionine attenuates the lipopolysaccharide-induced expression of the gene for tumour necrosis factor α

Walter H. WATSON, Yanming ZHAO, Rajender K. CHAWLA


Intracellular deficiency of S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) and elevated serum concentrations of tumour necrosis factor α (TNF) are hallmarks of toxin-induced liver injury. In these models, the administration of either exogenous AdoMet or antibody/soluble receptor for TNF attenuates the injury. We have demonstrated previously that the administration of exogenous AdoMet to AdoMet-deficient rats attenuated lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced liver injury and serum TNF concentrations. Here we report that AdoMet lowered the amount of TNF secreted by LPS-stimulated murine macrophage cells (RAW 264.7) in a dose-dependent manner. The inhibition of TNF release was correlated with changes in the steady-state TNF mRNA concentrations. Changes in TNF mRNA were not due to its altered stability and might have been due to an attenuation of the transcription rate of the TNF gene. The inhibition of TNF release in RAW cells was not mediated by GSH because treatment with AdoMet did not increase intracellular GSH. In addition, N-acetylcysteine, whereas it did increase GSH concentration, had no effect on LPS-stimulated TNF release in these cells. Exogenous AdoMet also attenuated LPS-induced serum TNF levels in normal rats sensitized with lead. Thus AdoMet administration might exert its hepatoprotective effects at least in part by its inhibitory effect on expression of the gene for TNF.

  • N-acetylcysteine
  • cytokines
  • glutathione
  • hepatotoxins
  • liver injury