?-catenin is essential for ethanol metabolism and protection against alcohol-mediated liver steatosis in mice.
ABSTRACT: The liver plays a central role in ethanol metabolism, and oxidative stress is implicated in alcohol-mediated liver injury. ?-Catenin regulates hepatic metabolic zonation and adaptive response to oxidative stress. We hypothesized that ?-catenin regulates the hepatic response to ethanol ingestion. Female liver-specific ?-catenin knockout (KO) mice and wild-type (WT) littermates were fed the Lieber-Decarli liquid diet (5% ethanol) in a pairwise fashion. Liver histology, biochemistry, and gene-expression studies were performed. Plasma alcohol and ammonia levels were measured using standard assays. Ethanol-fed (EtOH) KO mice exhibited systemic toxicity and early mortality. KO mice exhibited severe macrovesicular steatosis and 5 to 6-fold higher serum alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase levels. KO mice had a modest increase in hepatic oxidative stress, lower expression of mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (SOD2), and lower citrate synthase activity, the first step in the tricarboxylic acid cycle. N-Acetylcysteine did not prevent ethanol-induced mortality in KO mice. In WT livers, ?-catenin was found to coprecipitate with forkhead box O3, the upstream regulator of SOD2. Hepatic alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase activities and expression were lower in KO mice. Hepatic cytochrome P450 2E1 protein levels were up-regulated in EtOH WT mice, but were nearly undetectable in KO mice. These changes in ethanol-metabolizing enzymes were associated with 30-fold higher blood alcohol levels in KO mice.?-Catenin is essential for hepatic ethanol metabolism and plays a protective role in alcohol-mediated liver steatosis. Our results strongly suggest that integration of these functions by ?-catenin is critical for adaptation to ethanol ingestion in vivo.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Alcohol abuse and alcoholism lead to alcohol liver disease such as alcoholic fatty liver. Parkin is a component of the multiprotein E3 ubiquitin ligase complex and is associated with hepatic lipid accumulation. However, the role of parkin in ethanol-induced liver disease has not been reported. Here, we tested the effect of parkin on ethanol-induced fatty liver in parkin knockout (KO) mice with chronic ethanol feeding. METHODS:Male wild type (WT) and parkin KO mice (10-12 weeks old, n = 10) were fed on a Lieber-DeCarli diet containing 6.6% ethanol for 10 days. Liver histological, biochemical, and gene-expression studies were performed. RESULTS:Parkin KO mice exhibited lower hepatosteatosis after ethanol consumption. Because several studies reported that β-catenin is a critical factor in ethanol metabolism and protects against alcohol-induced hepatosteatosis, we investigated whether parkin changes β-catenin accumulation in the liver of ethanol-fed mice. Our results show that β-catenin was greatly accumulated in the livers of ethanol-fed parkin KO mice compared to ethanol-fed WT mice, and that parkin binds to β-catenin and promotes its degradation it by ubiquitination. Moreover, the β-catenin inhibitor IWR-1 abrogated the attenuation of ethanol-induced hepatic lipid accumulation by parkin deficiency in the livers of parkin KO mice and parkin siRNA-transfected human hepatic cell line. CONCLUSIONS:Parkin deficiency prevents ethanol-induced hepatic lipid accumulation through promotion of β-catenin signaling by failure of β-catenin degradation.
Project description:Ethanol-inducible cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) contributes to increased oxidative stress and steatosis in chronic alcohol-exposure models. However, its role in binge ethanol-induced gut leakiness and hepatic injury is unclear. This study was aimed at investigating the role of CYP2E1 in binge alcohol-induced gut leakiness and the mechanisms of steatohepatitis. Female wild-type (WT) and Cyp2e1-null mice were treated with three doses of binge ethanol (WT-EtOH or Cyp2e1-null-EtOH) (6g/kg oral gavage at 12-h intervals) or dextrose (negative control). Intestinal histology of only WT-EtOH exhibited epithelial alteration and blebbing of lamina propria, and liver histology obtained at 6h after the last ethanol dose showed elevated steatosis with scattered inflammatory foci. These were accompanied by increased levels of serum endotoxin, hepatic enterobacteria, and triglycerides. All these changes, including the intestinal histology and hepatic apoptosis, determined by TUNEL assay, were significantly reversed when WT-EtOH mice were treated with the specific inhibitor of CYP2E1 chlormethiazole and the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine, both of which suppressed oxidative markers including intestinal CYP2E1. WT-EtOH also exhibited elevated amounts of serum TNF-?, hepatic cytokines, CYP2E1, and lipid peroxidation, with decreased levels of mitochondrial superoxide dismutase and suppressed aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 activity. Increased hepatocyte apoptosis with elevated levels of proapoptotic proteins and decreased levels of active (phosphorylated) p-AKT, p-AMPK, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-?, all of which are involved in fat metabolism and inflammation, were observed in WT-EtOH. These changes were significantly attenuated in the corresponding Cyp2e1-null-EtOH mice. These data indicate that both intestinal and hepatic CYP2E1 induced by binge alcohol seems critical in binge alcohol-mediated increased nitroxidative stress, gut leakage, and endotoxemia; altered fat metabolism; and inflammation contributing to hepatic apoptosis and steatohepatitis.
Project description:Deletion of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), enzyme responsible for degrading endocannabinoids, increases alcohol consumption and preference. However, there is a lack of data on neurochemical events in mice exposed to alcohol in the absence of FAAH. Extracellular levels of endocannabinoids and relevant neurotransmitters were measured by in vivo microdialysis in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of FAAH knockout (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice during an ethanol (EtOH; 2 g/kg, ip) challenge in EtOH-naive and repeated (r) EtOH-treated mice. In both genotypes, EtOH treatment caused no changes in baseline endocannabinoid levels, although FAAH KO mice displayed higher baseline N-arachidonoylethanolamine levels than WT mice. EtOH challenge caused a sustained increase in 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) levels in EtOH-naive WT mice but not in FAAH KO mice. In contrast, 2-AG levels were decreased following EtOH challenge in (r)EtOH-treated mice in both genotypes. Whereas (r)EtOH-treated mice showed higher baseline dopamine and serotonin levels than EtOH-naive mice in WT mice, these differences were attenuated in FAAH KO mice. Significant differences in baseline ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate levels by EtOH history were observed in WT mice but not in FAAH KO mice. Moreover, opposed effects on glutamate response were observed after EtOH challenge in EtOH-naive and (r)EtOH-treated FAAH KO mice. Finally, FAAH deletion failed to show EtOH-induced locomotion sensitivity. These data provide evidence of a potential influence of 2-AG in the neurochemical response to EtOH exposure in the NAc.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR?) signaling has been shown to regulate lipogenesis and lipid accumulation. Previous studies have shown that hepatic PPAR? is up-regulated in steatotic liver of both animal and human. However, the effects of hepatic PPAR? signaling on alcoholic liver disease (ALD) remain elusive. METHODS:To determine the role of hepatic PPAR? signaling on ALD, wild-type (WT) and hepatocyte-specific PPAR? knockdown (PPAR??Hep) mice were fed a modified Lieber-DeCarli alcohol or isocaloric maltose dextrin control liquid diet for 8 weeks to induce ALD. Blood parameters, hepatic steatosis, and inflammation were measured after 8-week alcohol feeding. RESULTS:Alcohol feeding to WT mice resulted in liver damage (alanine aminotransferase [ALT], 94.68 ± 17.05 U/L; aspartate aminotransferase [AST], 55.87 ± 11.29 U/L), which was significantly alleviated by hepatic PPAR? knockdown (ALT, 57.36 ± 14.98 U/L; AST, 38.06 ± 3.35 U/L). Alcohol feeding led to marked lipid accumulation and up-regulation of lipogenic genes including fatty acid transport protein 1 (FATP1), acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), fatty acid synthase (FASN), lipin1 (LIPIN1), diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1), and diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2 (DGAT2) in the livers of WT mice. Knockdown of hepatic PPAR? significantly alleviated alcohol-induced lipid accumulation and abolished the up-regulation of FASN, DGAT1, and DGAT2. Silencing of PPAR? in FL83B cells significantly decreased ethanol (EtOH)-, linoleic acid-, and EtOH plus linoleic acid-induced lipid accumulation. Knockdown of hepatic PPAR? also significantly reduced alcohol-induced inflammatory chemokine (monocyte chemotactic protein 1 [MCP1], keratinocyte-derived chemokine [KC], interferon gamma-induced protein 10 [IP-10]) and inflammatory infiltration (lymphocyte antigen 6 complex, locus G [Ly6G], and F4/80). CONCLUSIONS:The results suggest that hepatic PPAR? signaling contributes to alcohol-induced liver injury by promoting hepatic steatosis and inflammation.
Project description:Tolerance, described as the loss of drug effectiveness over time, is an important component of addiction. The degree of acute behavioral tolerance to alcohol exhibited by a naïve subject can predict the likelihood of alcohol abuse. Thus, the determinants of acute tolerance are important to understand. Calcium- and voltage-gated (BK) potassium channels, consisting of pore forming alpha and modulatory beta subunits, are targets of ethanol (EtOH) action. Here, we examine the role, at the molecular, cellular, and behavioral levels, of the BK beta4 subunit in acute tolerance. Single channel recordings in HEK-293 cells show that, in the absence of beta4, EtOH potentiation of activity exhibits acute tolerance, which is blocked by coexpressing the beta4 subunit. BK channels in acutely isolated medium spiny neurons from WT mice (in which the beta4 subunit is well-represented) exhibit little tolerance. In contrast, neuronal BK channels from beta4 knockout (KO) mice do display acute tolerance. Brain slice recordings showed tolerance to EtOH's effects on spike patterning in KO but not in WT mice. In addition, beta4 KO mice develop rapid tolerance to EtOH's locomotor effects, whereas WT mice do not. Finally, in a restricted access ethanol self-administration assay, beta4 KO mice drink more than their WT counterparts. Taken together, these data indicate that the beta4 subunit controls ethanol tolerance at the molecular, cellular, and behavioral levels, and could determine individual differences in alcohol abuse and alcoholism, as well as represent a therapeutic target for alcoholism.
Project description:Chronic ethanol consumption increases the risk of hepatic cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). While sex differences exist in susceptibility to ethanol-induced liver damage/HCC development, little is known about the effects of ethanol on tumor progression.Neonatal male and female mice were initiated with a single dose of diethylnitrosamine (DEN). Sixteen or 40 weeks later, animals were placed on a 10/20% (v/v) ethanol-drinking water (EtOH-DW; alternate days) regime for 8 weeks. At study end, liver tissue and serum were analyzed for liver pathology/function and cytokine expression.DEN reproducibly induced hepatic foci/tumors in male and female mice. Ethanol diminished hepatic function and increased liver damage, but ethanol alone did not induce hepatic foci/HCC formation. In DEN-initiated EtOH-DW animals, ethanol significantly increased tumor incidence and burden, but only in male mice. Male and female mice (±DEN) demonstrated comparable blood alcohol content at necropsy, yet increased hepatic damage and diminished hepatic function/antioxidant capacity were significantly greater in males. Analysis of liver mRNA for Th1, Th2, or T-regulatory factors demonstrated significantly elevated SMAD3 in male compared to female mice in response to EtOH, DEN initiation, and DEN + EtOH-DW.These data demonstrate male mice are more susceptible to HCC incidence and progression in the setting of chronic ethanol feeding than females. Differences in markers of hepatic immune response in male mice suggest that increased TGF?-SMAD3 signaling may enhance promotion in this model of HCC progression, effects modulated by chronic ethanol feeding.
Project description:The pregnane X receptor (PXR, NR1I2) is a xenobiotic-sensing nuclear receptor that modulates the metabolic response to drugs and toxic agents. Both PXR activation and deficiency promote hepatic triglyceride accumulation, a hallmark feature of alcoholic liver disease. However, the molecular mechanism of PXR-mediated activation of ethanol (EtOH)-induced steatosis is unclear. Here, using male wildtype (WT) and Pxr-null mice, we examined PXR-mediated regulation of chronic EtOH-induced hepatic lipid accumulation and hepatotoxicity. EtOH ingestion for 8 weeks significantly (1.8-fold) up-regulated Pxr mRNA levels in WT mice. The EtOH exposure also increased mRNAs encoding hepatic constitutive androstane receptor (3-fold) and its target, Cyp2b10 (220-fold), in a PXR-dependent manner. Furthermore, WT mice had higher serum EtOH levels and developed hepatic steatosis characterized by micro- and macrovesicular lipid accumulation. Consistent with the development of steatosis, lipogenic gene induction was significantly increased in WT mice, including sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c target gene fatty-acid synthase (3.0-fold), early growth response-1 (3.2-fold), and TNF? (3.0-fold), whereas the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? target genes was suppressed. Of note, PXR deficiency suppressed these changes and steatosis. Protein levels, but not mRNAs levels, of EtOH-metabolizing enzymes, including alcohol dehydrogenase 1, aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A1, and catalase, as well as the microsomal triglyceride transfer protein, involved in regulating lipid output were higher in Pxr-null than in WT mice. These findings establish that PXR signaling contributes to ALD development and suggest that PXR antagonists may provide a new approach for ALD therapy.
Project description:The mechanisms of alcohol-mediated advanced liver injury in HIV-infected individuals are poorly understood. Thus, this study was aimed to investigate the effect of binge alcohol on the inflammatory liver disease in HIV transgenic rats as a model for simulating human conditions. Female wild-type (WT) or HIV transgenic rats were treated with three consecutive doses of binge ethanol (EtOH) (3.5 g/kg/dose oral gavages at 12-h intervals) or dextrose (Control). Blood and liver tissues were collected at 1 or 6-h following the last dose of ethanol or dextrose for the measurements of serum endotoxin and liver pathology, respectively. Compared to the WT, the HIV rats showed increased sensitivity to alcohol-mediated gut leakiness, hepatic steatosis and inflammation, as evidenced with the significantly elevated levels of serum endotoxin, hepatic triglycerides, histological fat accumulation and F4/80 staining. Real-time PCR analysis revealed that hepatic levels of toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4), leptin and the downstream target monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) were significantly up-regulated in the HIV-EtOH rats, compared to all other groups. Subsequent experiments with primary cultured cells showed that both hepatocytes and hepatic Kupffer cells were the sources of the elevated MCP-1 in HIV-EtOH rats. Further, TLR4 and MCP-1 were found to be upregulated by leptin. Collectively, these results show that HIV rats, similar to HIV-infected people being treated with the highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART), are more susceptible to binge alcohol-induced gut leakiness and inflammatory liver disease than the corresponding WT, possibly due to additive or synergistic interaction between binge alcohol exposure and HIV infection. Based on these results, HIV transgenic rats can be used as a surrogate model to study the molecular mechanisms of many disease states caused by heavy alcohol intake in HIV-infected people on HAART.
Project description:Hepatic apoptosis is involved in the progression of alcoholic liver disease (ALD). Caspase-8, the apical initiator in death receptor-mediated apoptosis, has been implicated in acute liver injury and in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. However, the relevance of Caspase-8 in the pathogenesis of ALD remains unclear. In the present study, we investigated the impact of Caspase-8 in human and murine alcohol-induced apoptosis and in ALD. We investigated human samples from ALD patients, primary mouse hepatocytes, and hepatocyte-specific Caspase-8 knockout (Casp8?hepa) mice in acute and chronic models of ethanol (EtOH) administration. Caspase-8 activation was detected in liver biopsies from ALD patients, as well as in livers of wild-type (WT) mice after chronic ethanol feeding for 8 weeks using the Lieber-DeCarli model. Lack of Caspase-8 expression in Casp8?hepa animals failed to prevent alcohol-induced liver damage and apoptosis. Instead, inhibition of Caspase-8 shifted the ethanol-induced death signals towards pronounced activation of the intrinsic, mitochondria-dependent apoptosis pathway in Casp8?hepa livers involving enhanced release of cytochrome c, stronger Caspase-9 activation and specific morphological changes of mitochondria. In vitro and in vivo intervention using a pan-caspase inhibitor markedly attenuated alcohol-induced hepatocyte damage in a Caspase-8-independent manner. Surprisingly, EtOH-fed Casp8?hepa mice displayed significantly attenuated steatosis and reduced hepatic triglyceride and free fatty acids content. Caspase-8 is dispensable for alcohol-induced apoptosis, but plays an unexpected role for alcohol-dependent fat metabolism. We provide evidence that simultaneous inhibition of extrinsic and intrinsic apoptosis signaling using pan-caspase inhibitors in vivo might be an optimal approach to treat alcohol-induced liver injury.
Project description:Chronic alcohol consumption induces hepatic oxidative stress resulting in production of highly reactive electrophilic ?/?-unsaturated aldehydes that have the potential to modify proteins. A primary mechanism of reactive aldehyde detoxification by hepatocytes is through GSTA4-driven enzymatic conjugation with GSH. Given reports that oxidative stress initiates GSTA4 translocation to the mitochondria, we hypothesized that increased hepatocellular damage in ethanol (EtOH)-fed GSTA4(-/-) mice is due to enhanced mitochondrial protein modification by reactive aldehydes. Chronic ingestion of EtOH increased hepatic protein carbonylation in GSTA4(-/-) mice as evidenced by increased 4-HNE and MDA immunostaining in the hepatic periportal region. Using mass spectrometric analysis of biotin hydrazide conjugated carbonylated proteins, a total of 829 proteins were identified in microsomal, cytosolic and mitochondrial fractions. Of these, 417 were novel to EtOH models. Focusing on mitochondrial fractions, 1.61-fold more carbonylated proteins were identified in EtOH-fed GSTA4(-)(/-) mice compared to their respective WT mice ingesting EtOH. Bioinformatic KEGG pathway analysis of carbonylated proteins from the mitochondrial fractions revealed an increased propensity for modification of proteins regulating oxidative phosphorylation, glucose, fatty acid, glutathione and amino acid metabolic processes in GSTA4(-/-) mice. Additional analysis revealed sites of reactive aldehyde protein modification on 26 novel peptides/proteins isolated from either SV/GSTA4(-/-) PF or EtOH fed mice. Among the peptides/proteins identified, ACSL, ACOX2, MTP, and THIKB contribute to regulation of fatty acid metabolism and ARG1, ARLY, and OAT, which regulate nitrogen and ammonia metabolism having direct relevance to ethanol-induced liver injury. These data define a role for GSTA4-4 in buffering hepatic oxidative stress associated with chronic alcohol consumption and that this GST isoform plays an important role in protecting against carbonylation of mitochondrial proteins.