Tight junction stabilization prevents HepaRG cell death in drug-induced intrahepatic cholestasis

Rie Sonoi, Yoshihisa Hagihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Entacapone (ENT), a catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitor, causes liver injury by inducing bile canaliculi (BC) dilation through inhibition of the myosin light kinase pathway. Loss of tight junctions (TJs) induces hepatocyte depolarization, which causes bile secretory failure, leading to liver damage. To understand the influence of TJ structural changes as a consequence of BC dynamics, we compared the datasets of time-lapse and immunofluorescence images for TJ protein ZO-1 in hepatocytes cultured with ENT, forskolin (FOR), ENT/FOR, and those cultured without any drugs. Retrospective analysis revealed that the drastic change in BC behaviors caused TJ disruption and apoptosis in cells cultured with ENT. Exposure to FOR or sodium taurocholate facilitated TJ formation in the cells cultured with ENT and suppressed BC dynamic changes, leading to the inhibition of TJ disruption and apoptosis. Our findings clarify that hepatocyte TJ stabilization protects against cell death induced by BC disruption.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberbio058606
JournalBiology Open
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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