Research ArticleLIVER INJURY

Redefining IL11 as a regeneration-limiting hepatotoxin and therapeutic target in acetaminophen-induced liver injury

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Science Translational Medicine  09 Jun 2021:
Vol. 13, Issue 597, eaba8146
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aba8146

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A matter of species specificity

Acetaminophen (APAP) overdose can cause liver injury; effective therapies for treating APAP poisoning beyond 8 hours after ingestion are lacking. Recombinant human interleukin 11 (rhIL11) protected rodents from liver injury; however, recent studies produced results that question the underlying mechanism. Here, Widjaja et al. used a mouse model of APAP-induced liver injury and showed that species-matched IL11 was detrimental in mice, causing hepatocyte cell death. Genetic IL11 deletion protected mice from liver damage and administration of an antibody targeting IL11 receptor reduced APAP-induced toxicity even when administered 10 hours after APAP. The results suggest that IL11 might be detrimental for hepatocytes. Additional studies will clarify the translational potential of targeting IL11 for treating liver injury.

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