Research Article: DRAM is Involved in Hypoxia/Ischemia-Induced Autophagic Apoptosis in Hepatocytes

Date Published: February 01, 2019

Publisher: JKL International LLC

Author(s): Jianji Xu, Yunjin Zang, Dongjie Liu, Tongwang Yang, Jieling Wang, Yanjun Wang, Xiaoni Liu, Dexi Chen.


Liver hypoxia/ischemia injury leads to acute liver injury, delayed graft dysfunction, and failure during liver transplantation. Previous studies showed that autophagy is involved in liver hypoxia/ischemia injury. Our and others’ studies have found that the damage-regulated autophagy modulator (DRAM) could induce the autophagic apoptosis. However, the role of DRAM regulating autophagy in liver hypoxia/ischemia injury remains unclear. The aim of this study was to determine whether DRAM is involved in oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD)-induced hepatocyte autophagic apoptosis. Normal hepatocytes (HL-7702) were treated with OGD while Balb/c mice underwent surgery to induce 70% liver ischemia. To evaluate the role of DRAM in hypoxia/ischemia-induced hepatic injury, DRAM siRNA was used to knockdown DRAM expression in cultured hepatocytes and a recombinant adenovirus vector expressing DRAM was used to overexpress DRAM in cultured hepatocytes in vitro and in the liver in vivo. Hepatic injury was analyzed by histopathological methods and measurement of hepatocyte enzyme release. Cell apoptosis was analyzed by flow cytometry and TUNEL staining. Several autophagic biomarkers were observed by western blot analysis. OGD and 70% hepatic ischemia significantly induced cell autophagy, apoptosis and DRAM expression in hepatocytes in vitro and in vivo. OGD-induced autophagic apoptosis was inhibited by 3-Methyladenine (3-MA). OGD-induced injury and autophagy in HL-7702 cells were significantly attenuated by DRAM knockdown but aggravated by DRAM overexpression in vitro. Similarly, DRAM overexpression increased ischemia-induced liver injury and hepatic apoptosis in vivo. Our data demonstrate that hypoxia/ischemia induces hepatic injury through a DRAM-dependent autophagic apoptosis pathway. These data also suggest that DRAM plays an important role in ischemia-induced liver injury and hepatocyte apoptosis.

Partial Text

In the present study, we found that DRAM enhanced OGD and ischemia-induced damage in hepatocytes, which was closely associated with autophagic apoptosis [23].




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