Diet-induced hepatocellular carcinoma in genetically predisposed mice.
ABSTRACT: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide, with approximately 70% of cases resulting from hepatitis B and C viral infections, aflatoxin exposure, chronic alcohol use or genetic liver diseases. The remaining approximately 30% of cases are associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes and related metabolic diseases, although a direct link between these pathologies and HCCs has not been established. We tested the long-term effects of high-fat and low-fat diets on males of two inbred strains of mice and discovered that C57BL/6J but not A/J males were susceptible to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and HCC on a high-fat but not low-fat diet. This strain-diet interaction represents an important model for genetically controlled, diet-induced HCC. Susceptible mice showed morphological characteristics of NASH (steatosis, hepatitis, fibrosis and cirrhosis), dysplasia and HCC. mRNA profiles of HCCs versus tumor-free liver showed involvement of two signaling networks, one centered on Myc and the other on NFkappaB, similar to signaling described for the two major classes of HCC in humans. miRNA profiles revealed dramatically increased expression of a cluster of miRNAs on the X chromosome without amplification of the chromosomal segment. A switch from high-fat to low-fat diet reversed these outcomes, with switched C57BL/6J males being lean rather than obese and without evidence for NASH or HCCs at the end of the study. A similar diet modification may have important implications for prevention of HCCs in humans.
Project description:Background and Aim: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease in Western countries. While obesity and diabetes are the hallmarks of NAFLD, it also develops in lean individuals in the absence of metabolic syndrome, with a prevalence of 7 percent in the U.S. and 25-30 percent in some Asian countries. NAFLD represents the spectrum of liver disease, starting with excess liver fat accumulation (NAFL) that can progress to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis and ultimately hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). To date, the pathogenesis of lean NASH-HCC is poorly understood and a mouse model is lacking. We aimed to develop a mouse model of lean NASH-HCC using a choline deficient and high trans-fat/sucrose/cholesterol diet to enable better understanding of its molecular pathogenesis. Methods: C57BL/6N mice were fed this diet starting at 4 weeks of age for 52 weeks and were compared to mice fed an isocaloric low fat control diet for the same duration. C57BL/6N mice were chosen instead of the C57BL/6J mice due to the high susceptibility of C57BL/6J mice to diet-induced obesity. The plasma and tumor fatty acid profile of these mice was also investigated. Results: Nearly 61% of the mice developed lean NASH-HCC. These mice showed reduction of plasma polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) (linolenic acids (? and ?, ?-3 and ?-6, respectively), eicosapentanoic acid (?-3), docosahexanoic acid (?-3), and linoleic acid (?-6)) and increasing levels over time in mice with pre-malignant lesions. Conclusions: We developed a novel high penetrance diet-induced lean NASH-HCC mouse model. Plasma PUFA levels were reduced with tumor progression in parallel with reduced expression of genes controlling desaturase expression suggesting their potential use as biomarkers for lean NASH-HCC progression as well as chemopreventive molecules.
Project description:The lack of a preclinical model of progressive non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) that recapitulates human disease is a barrier to therapeutic development.A stable isogenic cross between C57BL/6J (B6) and 129S1/SvImJ (S129) mice were fed a high fat diet with ad libitum consumption of glucose and fructose in physiologically relevant concentrations and compared to mice fed a chow diet and also to both parent strains.Following initiation of the obesogenic diet, B6/129 mice developed obesity, insulin resistance, hypertriglyceridemia and increased LDL-cholesterol. They sequentially also developed steatosis (4-8weeks), steatohepatitis (16-24weeks), progressive fibrosis (16weeks onwards) and spontaneous hepatocellular cancer (HCC). There was a strong concordance between the pattern of pathway activation at a transcriptomic level between humans and mice with similar histological phenotypes (FDR 0.02 for early and 0.08 for late time points). Lipogenic, inflammatory and apoptotic signaling pathways activated in human NASH were also activated in these mice. The HCC gene signature resembled the S1 and S2 human subclasses of HCC (FDR 0.01 for both). Only the B6/129 mouse but not the parent strains recapitulated all of these aspects of human NAFLD.We here describe a diet-induced animal model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (DIAMOND) that recapitulates the key physiological, metabolic, histologic, transcriptomic and cell-signaling changes seen in humans with progressive NASH.We have developed a diet-induced mouse model of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and hepatic cancers in a cross between two mouse strains (129S1/SvImJ and C57Bl/6J). This model mimics all the physiological, metabolic, histological, transcriptomic gene signature and clinical endpoints of human NASH and can facilitate preclinical development of therapeutic targets for NASH.
Project description:The lack of a preclinical model of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and hepatocellular cancer (HCC) that recapitulates human disease is a major barrier to therapeutic development. We report a high fat-high sugar diet-induced NASH and HCC in a stable isogenic 129S1/SvImJ crossed with C57Bl/6J mice. Following diet initiation, there was sequential development of steatosis (4-8 weeks), steatohepatitis with ballooning and Mallory-Denk bodies (12-16 weeks), progressive fibrosis (16 week onwards) and spontaneous HCC (32-52 weeks). The mice developed obesity, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia. There was concordance with the human NASH transcriptome (FDR 0.001) with activation of lipogenic, inflammatory and apoptotic pathways relevant in humans. The HCC gene signature resembled S1 and S2 human HCC subclass (FDR 0.01 for both). This simple model of NASH and HCC that resembles human disease in terms of its triggers, physiological and biochemical parameters, histology, transcriptomic profile, and outcomes can facilitate preclinical development for these conditions. 129S1/SvImJ;C57Bl/6J (129/B6) mice were fed with high-fat diet (Western Diet) and high fructose-glucose solution (Sugar Water) (WD SW) or chow diet (CD) for 8 weeks, and total RNA samples were isolated from liver tissues for genome-wide expression profiling.
Project description:The lack of a preclinical model of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and hepatocellular cancer (HCC) that recapitulates human disease is a major barrier to therapeutic development. We report a high fat-high sugar diet-induced NASH and HCC in a stable isogenic 129S1/SvImJ crossed with C57Bl/6J mice. Following diet initiation, there was sequential development of steatosis (4-8 weeks), steatohepatitis with ballooning and Mallory-Denk bodies (12-16 weeks), progressive fibrosis (16 week onwards) and spontaneous HCC (32-52 weeks). The mice developed obesity, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia. There was concordance with the human NASH transcriptome (FDR 0.001) with activation of lipogenic, inflammatory and apoptotic pathways relevant in humans. The HCC gene signature resembled S1 and S2 human HCC subclass (FDR 0.01 for both). This simple model of NASH and HCC that resembles human disease in terms of its triggers, physiological and biochemical parameters, histology, transcriptomic profile, and outcomes can facilitate preclinical development for these conditions. 129S1/SvImJ;C57Bl/6J (129/B6) mice were fed with high-fat diet (Western Diet) and high fructose-glucose solution (Sugar Water) (WD SW) or chow diet (CD) for 52 weeks, and total RNA samples were isolated from liver and tumor tissues for genome-wide expression profiling.
Project description:The underlining mechanisms of dietary cholesterol and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in contributing to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remain undefined. Here we demonstrated that high-fat-non-cholesterol-fed mice developed simple steatosis, whilst high-fat-high-cholesterol-fed mice developed NASH. Moreover, dietary cholesterol induced larger and more numerous NASH-HCCs than non-cholesterol-induced steatosis-HCCs in diethylnitrosamine-treated mice. NASH-HCCs displayed significantly more aberrant gene expression-enriched signaling pathways and more non-synonymous somatic mutations than steatosis-HCCs (335?±?84/sample vs 43?±?13/sample). Integrated genetic and expressional alterations in NASH-HCCs affected distinct genes pertinent to five pathways: calcium, insulin, cell adhesion, axon guidance and metabolism. Some of the novel aberrant gene expression, mutations and core oncogenic pathways identified in cholesterol-associated NASH-HCCs in mice were confirmed in human NASH-HCCs, which included metabolism-related genes (ALDH18A1, CAD, CHKA, POLD4, PSPH and SQLE) and recurrently mutated genes (RYR1, MTOR, SDK1, CACNA1H and RYR2). These findings add insights into the link of cholesterol to NASH and NASH-HCC and provide potential therapeutic targets.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS:Although the majority of patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) have only steatosis without progression, a sizeable fraction develop non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which can lead to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Many established diet-induced mouse models for NASH require 24-52?weeks, which makes testing for drug response costly and time consuming. METHODS:We have sought to establish a murine NASH model with rapid progression of extensive fibrosis and HCC by using a western diet (WD), which is high-fat, high-fructose and high-cholesterol, combined with low weekly dose of intraperitoneal carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), which serves as an accelerator. RESULTS:C57BL/6J mice were fed a normal chow diet?±?CCl4 or WD?±?CCl4 for 12 and 24?weeks. Addition of CCl4 exacerbated histological features of NASH, fibrosis, and tumor development induced by WD, which resulted in stage 3 fibrosis at 12?weeks and HCC development at 24?weeks. Furthermore, whole liver transcriptomic analysis indicated that dysregulated molecular pathways in WD/CCl4 mice and immunologic features were similar to those of human NASH. CONCLUSIONS:Our mouse NASH model exhibits rapid progression of advanced fibrosis and HCC, and mimics histological, immunological and transcriptomic features of human NASH, suggesting that it will be a useful experimental tool for preclinical drug testing. LAY SUMMARY:A carefully characterized model has been developed in mice that recapitulates the progressive stages of human fatty liver disease, from simple steatosis, to inflammation, fibrosis and cancer. The functional pathways of gene expression and immune abnormalities in this model closely resemble human disease. The ease and reproducibility of this model make it ideal to study disease pathogenesis and test new treatments.
Project description:Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a fast-growing liver disease in the Western world. Currently, only a few animal models show both the metabolic and histological features of human NASH. We aimed to explore murine NASH models in a time dependent manner that exhibit metabolic, histological and transcriptomic hallmarks of human NASH. For this, the murine strains C57BL/6J, ob/ob, and KK-Ay were used and three types of nutritional regimes were administered: normal chow diet (NCD); high-fat, high-fructose, and high-cholesterol diet (fast food diet; FFD); or choline-deficient, L-amino acid-defined, high-fat diet (CDAHFD), for 2, 4, 8, 12, 18, 24, and 30 weeks. All strains under the FFD and CDAHFD regimes developed steatohepatitis. Among the strains treated with FFD, the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) activity score, fibrosis progression and metabolic abnormalities such as hyperinsulinemia and obesity were more pronounced in ob/ob mice than in C57BL/6J and KK-Ay mice. In ob/ob mice fed FFD, the development of hepatic crown-like structures was confirmed. Furthermore, molecular pathways involved in steatohepatitis and fibrosis showed significant changes from as early as 2 weeks of starting the FFD regime. Ob/ob mice fed FFD showed metabolic, histological, and transcriptomic dysfunctions similar to human NASH, suggesting their potential as an experimental model to discover novel drugs for NASH.
Project description:A mass spectrometric analysis platform has been developed to determine whether glycosylation patterns of alpha-1 acid glycoprotein (AGP) could be used as a marker for early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in different etiologies, i.e. non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), alcoholic liver disease (ALC), and hepatitis C virus (HCV). MALDI-MS profiling of N-glycans of AGP purified from 20 μL of patient serum in HCC (n = 72) and liver cirrhosis (n = 58) showed that a unique trifucosylated tetra-antennary glycan (m/z 3490.76) was predominantly identified in HCCs but was absent in healthy subjects and the majority of cirrhosis patients. Receiver operation characteristic (ROC) curve analysis showed that the trifucosylated N-glycan of AGP (triFc_AGP) could differentiate HCC from cirrhosis with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.707, 0.726 and 0.751 for NASH, ALC and HCV, respectively. When combining triFc_AGP with INR and AFP, the panel had the greatest benefit in detection of NASH-related HCCs, with a significantly improved AUC of 0.882 for all NASH HCCs and 0.818 for early NASH HCCs compared to AFP alone (0.761 and 0.641, respectively). Moreover, triFc_AGP could serve as a potential marker for monitoring AFP-negative HCC patients.
Project description:Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) can cause liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, with final progression to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in some cases. Various factors have been suggested to be involved in the development of NASH. Considering the many possible contributing factors, we postulated that mechanisms of progression from NASH to HCC could differ depending on the risk factors. In the present study, we applied two mouse models of NASH?HCC and performed histopathological and proteome analyses of mouse liver tumors. Furthermore, to compare the mechanisms of NASH?HCC progression in mice and humans, we investigated HCCs in humans with a background of metabolic syndrome and NASH, as well as HCCs associated with hepatitis virus infection by immunohistochemistry. It was demonstrated that upstream regulators associated with the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway were altered in liver tumors of mice with metabolic syndrome characteristics (TSOD mice) using proteome analysis. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that mTOR was characteristically phosphorylated in liver tumors of TSOD mice and HCCs from metabolic syndrome cases in humans. These results indicated that the mTOR pathway is characteristically activated in liver tumors with metabolic syndrome and NASH, unlike liver tumors with other etiologies.
Project description:Recent studies underscore important roles of intestinal microbiota and the bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) production in the pathogenesis of liver disease. However, how gut microbiota alters in response to the development of steatosis and subsequent progression to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unclear. We aimed to study the gut microbial changes over liver disease progression using a streptozotocin-high fat diet (STZ-HFD) induced NASH-HCC C57BL/6J mouse model that is highly relevant to human liver disease. The fecal microbiota at various liver pathological stages was analyzed by 16S rDNA gene pyrosequencing. Both UniFrac analysis and partial least squares-discriminant analysis showed significant structural alterations in gut microbiota during the development of liver disease. Co-abundance network analysis highlighted relationships between genera. Spearman correlation analysis revealed that the bacterial species, Atopobium spp., Bacteroides spp., Bacteroides vulgatus, Bacteroides acidifaciens, Bacteroides uniformis, Clostridium cocleatum, Clostridium xylanolyticum and Desulfovibrio spp., markedly increased in model mice, were positively correlated with LPS levels and pathophysiological features. Taken together, the results showed that the gut microbiota was altered significantly in the progression of liver disease. The connection between the gut microbial ecology and the liver pathology may represent potential targets for the prevention and treatment of chronic liver disease and HCC.