Role of p38 MAPK pathway in 17β-estradiol-mediated attenuation of hemorrhagic shock-induced hepatic injury

Jun Te Hsu*, Tsung Hsing Chen, Kun Chun Chiang, Chia Jung Kuo, Chun Jung Lin, Ta Sen Yeh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

7 Scopus citations


Although 17β-estradiol (E2) treatment following hemorrhagic shock or ischemic reperfusion prevents organs from dysfunction and injury, the precise mechanism remains unknown. We hypothesize that the E2-mediated attenuation of liver injury following hemorrhagic shock and fluid resuscitation occurs via the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-dependent heme oxygenase (HO)-1 pathway. After a 5-cm midline laparotomy, male rats underwent hemorrhagic shock (mean blood pressure ∼40 mmHg for 90 min) followed by fluid resuscitation. At the onset of resuscitation, rats were treated with vehicle, E2 (1 mg/kg) alone, or E2 plus p38 MAPK inhibitor SB-203580 (2 mg/kg), HO-1 inhibitor chromium mesoporphyrin-IX chloride (2.5 mg/kg) or estrogen receptor antagonist ICI 182,780 (3 mg/kg). At 2 h after hemorrhagic shock and fluid resuscitation, the liver injury markers were significantly increased compared with sham-operated control. Hemorrhagic shock resulted in a significant decrease in p38 MAPK phosphorylation compared with the shams. Administration of E2 following hemorrhagic shock normalized liver p38 MAPK phosphorylation, further increased HO-1 expression, and reduced cleaved caspase-3 levels. Coadministration of SB-203580 abolished the E2-mediated attenuation of the shock-induced liver injury markers. In addition, administration of chromium mesoporphyrin-IX chloride or ICI 182,780 abolished E2-mediated increases in liver HO-1 expression or p38 MAPK activation following hemorrhagic shock. Our results collectively suggest that the salutary effects of E2 on hepatic injury following hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation are in part mediated through an estrogen-receptor-related p38 MAPK-dependent HO-1 upregulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-192
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 01 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.


  • Estrogen
  • Estrogen receptor antagonist
  • HO-1
  • Hemorrhagic shock
  • Liver injury
  • P38 MAPK


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