Toll-like receptor-3-induced mitochondrial dysfunction in cultured human hepatocytes

Siamak Djafarzadeh, Madhusudanarao Vuda, Jukka Takala, Matthias Ochs, Stephan M Jakob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Several studies have shown the presence of liver mitochondrial dysfunction during sepsis. TLR3 recognizes viral double-stranded RNA and host endogenous cellular mRNA released from damaged cells. TLR3 ligand amplifies the systemic hyperinflammatory response observed during sepsis and in sepsis RNA escaping from damaged tissues/cells may serve as an endogenous ligand for TLR3 thereby modulating immune responses. This study addressed the hypothesis that TLR3 might regulate mitochondrial function in cultured human hepatocytes. HepG2 cells were exposed to TLR-3 ligand (dsRNA - polyinosine-polycytidylic acid; Poly I:C) and mitochondrial respiration was measured. Poly I:C induced a reduction in maximal mitochondrial respiration of human hepatocytes which was prevented partially by preincubation with cyclosporine A (a mitochondrial permeability transition pore-opening inhibitor). Poly-I:C induced activation of NF-??B, and the mitochondrial dysfunction was accompanied by caspase-8 but not caspase-3 activation and by no major alterations in cellular or mitochondrial ultrastructure. ?? 2010 Elsevier B.V. and Mitochondria Research Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-88
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Caspase
  • Cyclosporine A
  • Mitochondrial permeability transition
  • Mitochondrial respiration
  • Toll-like receptor


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