The platelet receptor CLEC-2 blocks neutrophil mediated hepatic recovery in acetaminophen induced acute liver failure

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Acetaminophen (APAP) is the main cause of acute liver failure in the West. Specific efficacious therapies for acute liver failure (ALF) are limited and time-dependent. The mechanisms that drive irreversible acute liver failure remain poorly characterized. Here we report that the recently discovered platelet receptor CLEC-2 (C-type lectin-like receptor) perpetuates and worsens liver damage after toxic liver injury. Our data demonstrate that blocking platelet CLEC-2 signalling enhances liver recovery from acute toxic liver injuries (APAP and carbon tetrachloride) by increasing tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) production which then enhances reparative hepatic neutrophil recruitment. We provide data from humans and mice demonstrating that platelet CLEC-2 influences the hepatic sterile inflammatory response and that this can be manipulated for therapeutic benefit in acute liver injury. Since CLEC-2 mediated platelet activation is independent of major haemostatic pathways, blocking this pathway represents a coagulopathy-sparing, specific and novel therapy in acute liver failure.


Original languageEnglish
Article number1939
Number of pages12
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Early online date22 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020