Research Papers:

FC-99 ameliorates sepsis-induced liver dysfunction by modulating monocyte/macrophage differentiation via Let-7a related monocytes apoptosis

Yarong Zhao _, Haiyan Zhu, Haining Wang, Liang Ding, Lizhi Xu, Dai Chen, Sunan Shen, Yayi Hou and Huan Dou

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:14959-14976. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24127

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Yarong Zhao1, Haiyan Zhu1, Haining Wang1, Liang Ding1, Lizhi Xu2, Dai Chen3, Sunan Shen1,2, Yayi Hou1,2 and Huan Dou1,2

1The State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Division of Immunology, Medical School, Nanjing University, Nanjing, PR China

2Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Nanjing University, Nanjing, PR China

3Novel Bioinformatics Co., Ltd, Shanghai, PR China

Correspondence to:

Huan Dou, email: [email protected]

Yayi Hou, email: [email protected]

Keywords: FC-99; sepsis-induced liver injury; monocyte apoptosis; monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation; let-7a-5p

Received: July 22, 2017     Accepted: December 03, 2017     Epub: January 10, 2018     Published: March 13, 2018


Background: The liver is a vital target for sepsis-related injury, leading to inflammatory pathogenesis, multiple organ dysfunction and high mortality rates. Monocyte-derived macrophage transformations are key events in hepatic inflammation. N1-[(4-methoxy)methyl]-4-methyl-1,2-benzenediamine (FC-99) previously displayed therapeutic potential on experimental sepsis. However, the underlying mechanism of this protective effect is still not clear.

Results: FC-99 treatment attenuated the liver dysfunction in septic mice that was accompanied with reduced numbers of pro-inflammatory Ly6Chi monocytes in the peripheral blood and CD11b+F4/80lo monocyte-derived macrophages in the liver. These effects were attributed to the FC-99-induced apoptosis of CD11b+ cells. In PMA-differentiated THP-1 cells, FC-99 repressed the expression of CD11b, CD14 and caspase3 and resulted in a high proportion of Annexin V+ cells. Moreover, let-7a-5p expression was abrogated upon CLP stimulation in vivo, whereas it was restored by FC-99 treatment. TargetScan analysis and luciferase assays indicated that the anti-apoptotic protein BCL-XL was targeted by let-7a-5p. BCL-XL was inhibited by FC-99 in order to induce monocyte apoptosis, leading to the impaired monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation.

Materials and Methods: Murine acute liver failure was generated by caecal ligation puncture surgery after FC-99 administration; Blood samples and liver tissues were collected to determine the monocyte/macrophage subsets and the induction of apoptosis. Human acute monocytic leukemia cell line (THP-1) cells were pretreated with FC-99 followed by phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA) stimulation, in order to induce monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation. The target of FC-99 and the mechanistic analyses were conducted by microarrays, qRT-PCR validation, TargetScan algorithms and a luciferase report assay.

Conclusions: FC-99 exhibits potential therapeutic effects on CLP-induced liver dysfunction by restoring let-7a-5p levels.

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