Background and Aims: The innate immune cells can not normally respond to the pathogen in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. Previous studies reported that antigen-presenting cells take up L-Cystine (L-Cys) and secrete substantial amounts of L-Glutamate (L-Glu) via the transport system Xc- (4F2hc+xCT), and that this exchange influences the immune responses. The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of the plasma L-Cys/L-Glu imbalance observed in patients with advanced cirrhosis on the function of circulating monocytes. Methods: We used a serum-free culture medium consistent with the average concentrations of plasma amino acids from patients with advanced cirrhosis (ACM), and examined the function of CD14+ monocytes or THP-1 under ACM that contained 0-300 nmol/mL L-Cys with LPS. In patients with advanced cirrhosis, we actually determined the TNF-alpha and xCT mRNA of monocytes, and evaluated the correlation between the plasma L-Cys/L-Glu ratio and TNF-alpha. Results: The addition of L-Cys significantly increased the production of TNF alpha from monocytes under ACM. Monocytes with LPS and THP-1 expressed xCT and a high level of extracellular L-Cys enhanced L-Cys/L-Glu antiport, and the intracellular GSH/GSSG ratio was decreased. The L-Cys transport was inhibited by excess L-Glu. In patients with advanced cirrhosis (n = 19), the TNF-alpha and xCT mRNA of monocytes were increased according to the Child-Pugh grade. The TNF-alpha mRNA of monocytes was significantly higher in the high L-Cys/L-Glu ratio group than in the low ratio group, and the plasma TNF-alpha was significantly correlated with the L-Cys/L-Glu ratio. Conclusions: A plasma L-Cys/L-Glu imbalance, which appears in patients with advanced cirrhosis, increased the TNF-alpha from circulating monocytes via increasing the intracellular oxidative stress. These results may reflect the immune abnormality that appears in patients with decompensated cirrhosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)