The role of intrahepatic CD3+/CD4-/CD8- double negative T (DN T) cells in enhanced acetaminophen toxicity

Yonas Getachew, Frank A. Cusimano, Laura P. James, Dwain L Thiele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The role of the immune system, specifically NK, NKT and CD3 cells, in acetaminophen (APAP) induced liver injury remains inconsistently defined. In the present study, wild type (C57BL/6J) mice and granzyme B deficient (GrB -/-) mice were treated with acetaminophen to assess the role of the immune system in acute liver injury. Doses of acetaminophen that induced sub lethal liver injury in wild type mice unexpectedly produced fatal hepatotoxicity in granzyme B deficient (GrB -/-) mice. Analysis revealed that GrB -/- mice had an increased population of intrahepatic CD3 (+), CD4 (-), and CD8 (-) lymphocytes expressing the CD69 activation marker and Fas ligand. Depletion of these cells in the GrB -/- and wild type mice made them less susceptible to APAP injury, while depletion of NK1.1 (+) cells or both CD4 (+) and CD8 (+) T cells failed to provide the same hepatoprotection. Transfer of the GrB -/- IHLs further exacerbated liver injury and increased mortality in wild type mice but not in LRP/LPR mice, lacking fas expression. Conclusions: Acetaminophen toxicity is enhanced by the presence of activated, FasL expressing intrahepatic CD3 (+), CD4 (-), CD8 (-), NK1.1 (-) T cells. Depletion of these cells from GrB -/- mice and wild type mice greatly reduces mortality and improves the course of liver injury recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-271
Number of pages8
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • CD3
  • Drug-induced liver injury
  • Granzyme B
  • Immune system
  • Intrahepatic lymphocytes
  • T lymphocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of intrahepatic CD3+/CD4-/CD8- double negative T (DN T) cells in enhanced acetaminophen toxicity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this