Yes-associated protein regulates the hepatic response after bile duct ligation.
ABSTRACT: Human chronic cholestatic liver diseases are characterized by cholangiocyte proliferation, hepatocyte injury, and fibrosis. Yes-associated protein (YAP), the effector of the Hippo tumor-suppressor pathway, has been shown to play a critical role in promoting cholangiocyte and hepatocyte proliferation and survival during embryonic liver development and hepatocellular carcinogenesis. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine whether YAP participates in the regenerative response after cholestatic injury. First, we examined human liver tissue from patients with chronic cholestasis. We found more-active nuclear YAP in the bile ductular reactions of primary sclerosing cholangitis and primary biliary cirrhosis patient liver samples. Next, we used the murine bile duct ligation (BDL) model to induce cholestatic liver injury. We found significant changes in YAP activity after BDL in wild-type mice. The function of YAP in the hepatic response after BDL was further evaluated with liver-specific Yap conditional deletion in mice. Ablating Yap in the mouse liver not only compromised bile duct proliferation, but also enhanced hepatocyte necrosis and suppressed hepatocyte proliferation after BDL. Furthermore, primary hepatocytes and cholangiocytes isolated from Yap-deficient livers showed reduced proliferation in response to epidermal growth factor in vitro. Finally, we demonstrated that YAP likely mediates its biological effects through the modulation of Survivin expression.Our data suggest that YAP promotes cholangiocyte and hepatocyte proliferation and prevents parenchymal damage after cholestatic injury in mice and thus may mediate the response to cholestasis-induced human liver disease.
Project description:Bile duct obstruction is a potent stimulus for cholangiocyte proliferation, especially for large cholangiocytes. Our previous studies reported that conjugated bile acids (CBAs) activate the protein kinase B (AKT) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) signaling pathways through sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor (S1PR) 2 in hepatocytes and cholangiocarcinoma cells. It also has been reported that taurocholate (TCA) promotes large cholangiocyte proliferation and protects cholangiocytes from bile duct ligation (BDL)-induced apoptosis. However, the role of S1PR2 in bile-acid-mediated cholangiocyte proliferation and cholestatic liver injury has not been elucidated. Here, we report that S1PR2 is the predominant S1PR expressed in cholangiocytes. Both TCA- and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P)-induced activation of ERK1/2 and AKT were inhibited by JTE-013, a specific antagonist of S1PR2, in cholangiocytes. In addition, TCA- and S1P-induced cell proliferation and migration were inhibited by JTE-013 and a specific short hairpin RNA of S1PR2, as well as chemical inhibitors of ERK1/2 and AKT in mouse cholangiocytes. In BDL mice, expression of S1PR2 was up-regulated in whole liver and cholangiocytes. S1PR2 deficiency significantly reduced BDL-induced cholangiocyte proliferation and cholestatic injury, as indicated by significant reductions in inflammation and liver fibrosis in S1PR2 knockout mice. Treatment of BDL mice with JTE-013 significantly reduced total bile acid levels in serum and cholestatic liver injury.This study suggests that CBA-induced activation of S1PR2-mediated signaling pathways plays a critical role in obstructive cholestasis and may represent a novel therapeutic target for cholestatic liver diseases. (Hepatology 2017;65:2005-2018).
Project description:Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland with increased circulating levels shown to inhibit biliary hyperplasia and fibrosis during cholestatic liver injury. Melatonin also has the capability to suppress the release of hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), a hormone that promotes cholangiocyte proliferation when serum levels are elevated. However, the interplay and contribution of neural melatonin and GnRH to cholangiocyte proliferation and fibrosis in bile duct-ligated (BDL) rats have not been investigated. To test this, cranial levels of melatonin were increased by implanting osmotic minipumps that performed an intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusion of melatonin or saline for 7 days starting at the time of BDL. Hypothalamic GnRH mRNA and cholangiocyte secretion of GnRH and melatonin were assessed. Cholangiocyte proliferation and fibrosis were measured. Primary human hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) were treated with cholangiocyte supernatants, GnRH, or the GnRH receptor antagonist cetrorelix acetate, and cell proliferation and fibrosis gene expression were assessed. Melatonin infusion reduced hypothalamic GnRH mRNA expression and led to decreased GnRH and increased melatonin secretion from cholangiocytes. Infusion of melatonin was found to reduce hepatic injury, cholangiocyte proliferation, and fibrosis during BDL-induced liver injury. HSCs supplemented with BDL cholangiocyte supernatant had increased proliferation, and this increase was reversed when HSCs were supplemented with supernatants from melatonin-infused rats. GnRH stimulated fibrosis gene expression in HSCs, and this was reversed by cetrorelix acetate cotreatment. Increasing bioavailability of melatonin in the brain may improve outcomes during cholestatic liver disease.NEW & NOTEWORTHY We have previously demonstrated that GnRH is expressed in cholangiocytes and promotes their proliferation during cholestasis. In addition, dark therapy, which increases melatonin, reduced cholangiocyte proliferation and fibrosis during cholestasis. This study expands these findings by investigating neural GnRH regulation by melatonin during BDL-induced cholestasis by infusing melatonin into the brain. Melatonin infusion reduced cholangiocyte proliferation and fibrosis, and these effects are due to GNRH receptor 1-dependent paracrine signaling between cholangiocytes and hepatic stellate cells.
Project description:Extrahepatic cholestasis leads to complex injury and repair processes that result in bile infarct formation, neutrophil infiltration, cholangiocyte and hepatocyte proliferation, extracellular matrix remodeling, and fibrosis. To identify early molecular mechanisms of injury and repair after bile duct obstruction, microarray analysis was performed on liver tissue 24 hours after bile duct ligation (BDL) or sham surgery. The most upregulated gene identified encodes plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1, Serpine 1), a protease inhibitor that blocks urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) activity. Because PAI-1, uPA, and tPA influence growth factor and cytokine processing as well as extracellular matrix remodeling, we evaluated the role of PAI-1 in cholestatic liver injury by comparing the injury and repair processes in wild-type (WT) and PAI-1-deficient (PAI-1-/-) mice after BDL. PAI-1-/- mice had fewer and smaller bile infarcts, less neutrophil infiltration, and higher levels of cholangiocyte and hepatocyte proliferation than WT animals after BDL. Furthermore, PAI-1-/- mice had higher levels of tPA activation and mature hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) after BDL than WT mice, suggesting that PAI-1 effects on HGF activation critically influence cholestatic liver injury. This was further supported by elevated levels of c-Met and Akt phosphorylation in PAI-1-/- mice after BDL. In conclusion, PAI-1 deficiency reduces liver injury after BDL in mice. These data suggest that inhibiting PAI-1 might attenuate liver injury in cholestatic liver diseases. Total RNA isolated using TRI Reagent (Sigma, St. Louis, MO) was purified with an RNeasy mini kit (Qiagen, Valencia, CA). Twenty micrograms cRNA was hybridized to a mouse GeneChip (U74Av2, Affymetrix, Santa Clara, CA) at the Siteman Cancer Center GeneChip facility as described by the manufacturer. Analyses used one mouse per chip. Gene expression changes were analyzed using Affymetrix MicroArray Suite 4.0 and GeneChip 3.1 Expression Analysis and Statistical Algorithms (Affymetrix). The complete methodology and full data sets for all 6 analyzed chips are available at http://bioinformatics.wustl.edu.beckerproxy.wustl.edu This study compares the injury and repair processed in wild-type mice after BDL.
Project description:Biliary atresia (BA) is a neonatal liver disease featuring cholestasis and severe liver fibrosis (LF). Despite advances in the development of surgical treatment, lacking an early diagnostic marker and intervention of LF invariably leads to death from end-stage liver disease in the early years of life. We previously reported that knockout of sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 2 (S1PR2) protected mice from bile duct ligation (BDL)-induced cholangiocyte proliferation and LF. Our recent studies further showed that both hepatic and serum exosomal long noncoding RNA H19 (lncRNAH19) levels are correlated with cholestatic injury in multidrug resistance 2 knockout (Mdr2-/- ) mice. However, the role of lncRNAH19 in BA progression remains unclear. Here, we show that both hepatic and serum exosomal H19 levels are positively correlated with severity of fibrotic liver injuries in BA patients. H19 deficiency protects mice from BDL-induced cholangiocyte proliferation and LF by inhibiting bile-acid-induced expression and activation of S1PR2 and sphingosine kinase 2 (SphK2). Furthermore, H19 acts as a molecular sponge for members of the microRNA let-7 family, which results in up-regulation of high-mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2), a known target of let-7 and enhancement of biliary proliferation. Conclusion: These results indicate that H19 plays a critical role in cholangiocyte proliferation and cholestatic liver injury in BA by regulating the S1PR2/SphK2 and let-7/HMGA2 axis. Serum exosomal H19 may represent a noninvasive diagnostic biomarker and potential therapeutic target for BA.
Project description:Cholestasis comprises aetiologically heterogeneous conditions characterized by accumulation of bile acids in the liver that actively contribute to liver damage. Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) regulates liver regeneration and bile acid metabolism by modulating farnesoid X receptor (FXR); we here investigate its role in cholestatic liver disease. We determined SIRT1 expression in livers from patients with cholestatic disease, in two experimental models of cholestasis, as well as in human and murine liver cells in response to bile acid loading. SIRT1-overexpressing (SIRToe ) and hepatocyte-specific SIRT1-KO (knockout) mice (SIRThep-/- ) were subjected to bile duct ligation (BDL) and were fed with a 0.1% DDC (3,5-diethoxycarbonyl-1,4-dihydrocollidine) diet to determine the biological relevance of SIRT1 during cholestasis. The effect of NorUDCA (24-norursodeoxycholic acid) was tested in BDL/SIRToe mice. We found that SIRT1 was highly expressed in livers from cholestatic patients, mice after BDL, and Mdr2 knockout mice (Mdr2-/- ) animals. The detrimental effects of SIRT1 during cholestasis were validated in vivo and in vitro. SIRToe mice showed exacerbated parenchymal injury whereas SIRThep-/- mice evidenced a moderate improvement after BDL and 0.1% DDC feeding. Likewise, hepatocytes isolated from SIRToe mice showed increased apoptosis in response to bile acids, whereas a significant reduction was observed in SIRThep-/- hepatocytes. Importantly, the decrease, but not complete inhibition, of SIRT1 exerted by norUDCA treatment correlated with pronounced improvement in liver parenchyma in BDL/SIRToe mice. Interestingly, both SIRT1 overexpression and hepatocyte-specific SIRT1 depletion correlated with inhibition of FXR, whereas modulation of SIRT1 by NorUDCA associated with restored FXR signaling. Conclusion: SIRT1 expression is increased during human and murine cholestasis. Fine-tuning expression of SIRT1 is essential to protect the liver from cholestatic liver damage.
Project description:Cholestasis is a significant risk factor for immediate hepatic failure due to ischemia reperfusion (I/R) injury in patients undergoing liver surgery or transplantation. We recently demonstrated that inhibition of Hedgehog (Hh) signaling with cyclopamine (CYA) before I/R prevents liver injury. In this study we hypothesized that Hh signaling may modulate I/R injury in cholestatic rat liver. Cholestasis was induced by bile duct ligation (BDL). Seven days after BDL, rats were exposed to either CYA or vehicle for 7 days daily before being subjected to 30 min of ischemia and 4 h of reperfusion. Expression of Hh ligands (Sonic Hedgehog, Patched-1 and Glioblastoma-1), assessment of liver injury, neutrophil infiltration, cytokines, lipid peroxidation, cell proliferation and apoptosis were determined. Significant upregulation of Hh ligands was seen in vehicle treated BDL rats. I/R injury superimposed on these animals resulted in markedly elevated serum alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), total bilirubin accompanied with increased neutrophil recruitment and lipid peroxidation. Preconditioning with CYA reduced the histological damage and serum liver injury markers. CYA also reduced neutrophil infiltration, proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-? and IL-1? expression of ?-smooth muscle actin and type 1 collagen resulting in reduced fibrosis. Furthermore CYA treated animals showed reduced cholangiocyte proliferation, and apoptosis. Hepatoprotection by CYA was conferred by reduced activation of protein kinase B (Akt) and extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK). Endogenous Hh signaling in cholestasis exacerbates inflammatory injury during liver I/R. Blockade of Hh pathway represents a clinically relevant novel approach to limit I/R injury in cholestatic marginal liver.
Project description:Cholestatic patients often present with clinical features suggestive of adrenal insufficiency. In the bile duct-ligated (BDL) model of cholestasis, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is suppressed. The consequences of this suppression on cholangiocyte proliferation are unknown. We evaluated 1) HPA axis activity in various rat models of cholestasis and 2) effects of HPA axis modulation on cholangiocyte proliferation. Expression of regulatory molecules of the HPA axis was determined after BDL, partial BDL, and ?-naphthylisothiocyanate (ANIT) intoxication. The HPA axis was suppressed by inhibition of hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) expression by central administration of CRH-specific Vivo-morpholinos or by adrenalectomy. After BDL, the HPA axis was reactivated by 1) central administration of CRH, 2) systemic ACTH treatment, or 3) treatment with cortisol or corticosterone for 7 days postsurgery. There was decreased expression of 1) hypothalamic CRH, 2) pituitary ACTH, and 3) key glucocorticoid synthesis enzymes in the adrenal glands. Serum corticosterone and cortisol remained low after BDL (but not partial BDL) compared with sham surgery and after 2 wk of ANIT feeding. Experimental suppression of the HPA axis increased cholangiocyte proliferation, shown by increased cytokeratin-19- and proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive cholangiocytes. Conversely, restoration of HPA axis activity inhibited BDL-induced cholangiocyte proliferation. Suppression of the HPA axis is an early event following BDL and induces cholangiocyte proliferation. Knowledge of the role of the HPA axis during cholestasis may lead to development of innovative treatment paradigms for chronic liver disease.
Project description:Orphan nuclear receptor estrogen-related receptor ? (ERR?) stimulates bile acid production; however, the role and the regulatory mechanism of ERR? in cholestatic liver disease are largely unknown. This study identifies that Sirt6 is a deacetylase of ERR? and suggests a potentially novel mechanism by which Sirt6 activation alleviates cholestatic liver damage and fibrosis through regulating ERR?. We observed that hepatic expression of Sirt6 is repressed, whereas hepatic expression of ERR? is upregulated in murine cholestasis models. Hepatocyte-specific Sirt6-KO mice were more severely injured after a bile duct ligation (BDL) than WT mice, and adenoviral reexpression of Sirt6 reversed liver damage and fibrosis as demonstrated by biochemical and histological analyses. Mechanistically, Sirt6 deacetylated ERR?, thereby destabilizing ERR? and inhibiting its transcriptional activity. Elimination of hepatic ERR? using Ad-shERR? abolished the deleterious effects of Sirt6 deficiency, whereas ERR? overexpression aggravated cholestatic liver injury. Administration of a Sirt6 deacetylase activator prevented BDL-induced liver damage and fibrosis. In patients with cholestasis, Sirt6 expression was decreased, whereas total ERR? and acetylated ERR? levels were increased, confirming negative regulation of ERR? by Sirt6. Thus, Sirt6 activation represents a potentially novel therapeutic strategy for treating cholestatic liver injury.
Project description:Accumulating evidence indicates that oxidative stress plays a critical role in initiating the progression of inflammatory and fibrotic liver diseases, including cholestatic hepatitis. Peroxiredoxin 4 (PRDX4) is a secretory antioxidase that protects against oxidative damage by scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) in both the intracellular compartments and extracellular space. In this study, we examined the in vivo net effects of PRDX4 overexpression in a murine model of cholestasis. To induce cholestatic liver injury, we subjected C57BL/6J wild-type (WT) or human PRDX4 (hPRDX4) transgenic (Tg) mice to sham or bile duct ligation (BDL) surgery for seven days. Our results showed that the liver necrosis area was significantly suppressed in Tg BDL mice with a reduction in the severity of liver injuries. Furthermore, PRDX4 overexpression markedly reduced local and systemic oxidative stress generated by BDL. In addition, suppression of inflammatory cell infiltration, reduced proliferation of hepatocytes and intrahepatic bile ducts, and less fibrosis were also found in the liver of Tg BDL mice, along with a reduced mortality rate after BDL surgery. Interestingly, the composition of the hepatic bile acids (BAs) was more beneficial for Tg BDL mice than for WT BDL mice, suggesting that PRDX4 overexpression may affect BA metabolism during cholestasis. These features indicate that PRDX4 plays an important role in protecting against liver injury following BDL and might be a promising therapeutic modality for cholestatic diseases.
Project description:Liver cholestasis is a chronic liver disease and a major health problem worldwide. Cholestasis is characterised by a decrease in bile flow due to impaired secretion by hepatocytes or by obstruction of bile flow through intra- or extrahepatic bile ducts. Thereby cholestasis can induce ductal proliferation, hepatocyte injury and liver fibrosis. Notch signalling promotes the formation and maturation of bile duct structures. Here we investigated the liver regeneration process in the context of cholestasis induced by disruption of the Notch signalling pathway. Liver-specific deletion of recombination signal binding protein for immunoglobulin kappa j region (Rbpj), which represents a key regulator of Notch signalling, induces severe cholestasis through impaired intra-hepatic bile duct (IHBD) maturation, severe necrosis and increased lethality. Deregulation of the biliary compartment and cholestasis are associated with the change of several signalling pathways including a Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) gene set representing the Hippo pathway, further yes-associated protein (YAP) activation and upregulation of SRY (sex determining region Y)-box 9 (SOX9), which is associated with transdifferentiation of hepatocytes. SOX9 upregulation in cholestatic liver injury in vitro is independent of Notch signalling. We could comprehensively address that in vivo Rbpj depletion is followed by YAP activation, which influences the transdifferentiation of hepatocytes and thereby contributing to liver regeneration.