Ursodeoxycholic acid impairs liver-infiltrating T-cell chemotaxis through IFN-γ and CX3CL1 production in primary biliary cholangitis

Shin Shimoyama, Kazuhito Kawata, Kazuyoshi Ohta, Takeshi Chida, Tetsuro Suzuki, Koichi Tsuneyama, Shinji Shimoda, Nobuhito Kurono, Patrick S.C. Leung, M. Eric Gershwin, Takafumi Suda, Yoshimasa Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is the primary treatment for primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), but its mechanism of action remains unclear. Studies suggest that UDCA enhances NF erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NFE2L2) expression and that the interaction between IFN-γ and C-X3-C motif chemokine ligand 1 (CX3CL1) facilitates biliary inflammation in PBC. Therefore, we examined the effects of UDCA on the expression of IFN-γ and CX3CL1 in in vitro and in vivo PBC models such as human liver tissue, a murine model, cell lines, and isolated human intrahepatic biliary epithelial cells (IHBECs). We observed a significant decrease in IFN-γ mRNA levels and positive correlations between IFN-γ and CX3CL1 mRNA levels post-UDCA treatment in PBC livers. NFE2L2-mediated transcriptional activation was significantly enhanced in UDCA-treated Jurkat cells. In 2-octynoic acid-immunized mice, IFN-γ production by liver-infiltrating T cells was dependent on NFE2L2 activation. IFN-γ significantly and dose-dependentlyinduced CX3CL1 expression, which was significantly decreased in HuCC-T1 cells and IHBECs upon UDCA treatment. These results suggest that UDCA-induced suppression of IFN-γ and CX3CL1 production attenuates the chemotactic and adhesive abilities of liver-infiltrating T cells in PBC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • CX3CL1
  • IFN-γ
  • liver-infiltrating T cells
  • primary biliary cholangitis
  • ursodeoxycholic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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