Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4 Is a Pro-Recovery Mediator During Acute Hepatotoxic Damage and Mirrors Severe Shifts in Kupffer Cells

Nádia Duarte, Inês Coelho, Denys Holovanchuk, Joana Inês Almeida, Carlos Penha-Gonçalves, Maria Paula Macedo

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Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4 or clusters of differentiation [CD]26) is a multifunctional molecule with established roles in metabolism. Pharmacologic inhibition of DPP-4 is widely used to improve glycemic control through regulation of the incretin effect. Colaterally, CD26/DPP-4 inhibition appears to be beneficial in many inflammatory conditions, namely in delaying progression of liver pathology. Nevertheless, the exact implications of CD26/DPP-4 enzymatic activity in liver dysfunction remain unclear. In this work, we investigated the involvement of CD26/DPP-4 in experimental mouse models of induced hepatocyte damage that severely impact Kupffer cell (KC) populations. Liver dysfunction was evaluated in CD26 knockout (KO) and B6 wild-type mice during acute liver damage induced by acetaminophen, chronic liver damage induced by carbon tetrachloride, and KC-depleting treatment with clodronate-loaded liposomes. We found that necrosis resolution after hepatotoxic injury was delayed in CD26KO mice and in B6 mice treated with the CD26/DPP-4 inhibitor sitagliptin, suggesting that DPP-4 enzymatic activity plays a role in recovering from acute liver damage. Interestingly, the severe KC population reduction in acute and chronic liver injury was concomitant with increased CD26/DPP-4 serum levels. Remarkably, both chronic liver damage and noninflammatory depletion of KCs by clodronate liposomes were marked by oscillation in CD26/DPP-4 serum activity that mirrored the kinetics of liver KC depletion/recovery. Conclusion:CD26/DPP-4 enzymatic activity contributes to necrosis resolution during recovery from acute liver injury. Serum CD26/DPP-4 is elevated when severe perturbations are imposed on KC populations, regardless of patent liver damage. We propose that serum CD26/DPP-4 is a potential systemic surrogate marker of severe impairments in the KC population imposed by clinical and subclinical liver conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1080-1094
Number of pages15
JournalHepatology communications
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018


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