Counteracting roles of AMP deaminase and AMP kinase in the development of fatty liver.
ABSTRACT: Fatty liver (hepatic steatosis) is associated with nucleotide turnover, loss of ATP and generation of adenosine monophosphate (AMP). It is well known that in fatty liver, activity of the AMP-activated kinase (AMPK) is reduced and that its stimulation can prevent hepatic steatosis by both enhancing fat oxidation and reducing lipogenesis. Here we show that another AMP dependent enzyme, AMPD2, has opposing effects on fatty acid oxidation when compared to AMPK. In human hepatocytres, AMPD2 activation -either by overexpression or by lowering intracellular phosphate levels with fructose- is associated with a significant reduction in AMPK activity. Likewise, silencing of AMPK spontaneously increases AMPD activity, demonstrating that these enzymes counter-regulate each other. Furthermore, we show that a downstream product of AMP metabolism through AMPD2, uric acid, can inhibit AMPK activity in human hepatocytes. Finally, we show that fructose-induced fat accumulation in hepatocytes is due to a dominant stimulation of AMPD2 despite stimulating AMPK. In this regard, AMPD2-deficient hepatocytes demonstrate a further activation of AMPK after fructose exposure in association with increased fatty acid oxidation, and conversely silencing AMPK enhances AMPD-dependent fat accumulation. In vivo, we show that sucrose fed rats also develop fatty liver that is blocked by metformin in association with both a reduction in AMPD activity and an increase in AMPK activity. In summary, AMPD and AMPK are both important in hepatic fat accumulation and counter-regulate each other. We present the novel finding that uric acid inhibits AMPK kinase activity in fructose-fed hepatocytes thus providing new insights into the pathogenesis of fatty liver.
Project description:AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays a key role in integrating metabolic pathways in response to energy demand. We identified a mutation in the ?1 subunit (?1D316A) that leads to activation of AMPK. We generated mice with this mutation to study the effect of chronic liver-specific activation of AMPK in vivo. Primary hepatocytes isolated from these mice have reduced gluconeogenesis and fatty acid synthesis, but there is no effect on fatty acid oxidation compared to cells from wild-type mice. Liver-specific activation of AMPK decreases lipogenesis in vivo and completely protects against hepatic steatosis when mice are fed a high-fructose diet. Our findings demonstrate that liver-specific activation of AMPK is sufficient to protect against hepatic triglyceride accumulation, a hallmark of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). These results emphasize the clinical relevance of activating AMPK in the liver to combat NAFLD and potentially other associated complications (e.g., cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma).
Project description:Ginsenoside Rb1 (Rb1), a natural compound extracted from ginseng, exerts anti-obesity activity and improves insulin sensitivity in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese rats. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the protective effect of Rb1 on fatty liver in HFD-induced obese rats and to elucidate underlying mechanisms. After chronic intraperitoneal administration, Rb1 (10 mg/kg) significantly ameliorated hepatic fat accumulation in HFD-induced obese rats, as demonstrated by reduced liver weight, hepatic triglyceride content, and histological evaluation of liver sections by hematoxylin and eosin and Oil Red O staining. Using primary cultured rat hepatic cells, we found that the rate of fatty acid oxidation and the activity of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1), a key enzyme in fatty acid ?-oxidation, were significantly elevated in Rb1-treated hepatocytes compared with those of vehicle-treated cells. HPLC analysis revealed that Rb1 increased the cellular AMP/ATP ratio, which is associated with elevated activation of hepatic AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and phosphorylated acetyl-CoA carboxylase. Consistent with the activation of AMPK, Rb1 stimulated the expression of genes encoding fatty acid oxidative enzymes and proteins, and suppressed the expression of genes encoding enzymes or proteins that function in lipogenesis, assessed by quantitative PCR. We conclude that Rb1 has a potent ability to reduce hepatic fat accumulation and might be useful as a therapeutic agent for fatty liver disorder.
Project description:Increasing evidence demonstrates that berberine (BBR) is beneficial for obesity-associated non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, it remains to be elucidated how BBR improves aspects of NAFLD. Here we revealed an AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-independent mechanism for BBR to suppress obesity-associated inflammation and improve hepatic steatosis. In C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD), treatment with BBR decreased inflammation in both the liver and adipose tissue as indicated by reduction of the phosphorylation state of JNK1 and the mRNA levels of proinflammatory cytokines. BBR treatment also decreased hepatic steatosis, as well as the expression of acetyl-CoA carboxylase and fatty acid synthase. Interestingly, treatment with BBR did not significantly alter the phosphorylation state of AMPK in both the liver and adipose tissue of HFD-fed mice. Consistently, BBR treatment significantly decreased the phosphorylation state of JNK1 in both hepatoma H4IIE cells and mouse primary hepatocytes in both dose-dependent and time-dependent manners, which was independent of AMPK phosphorylation. BBR treatment also caused a decrease in palmitate-induced fat deposition in primary mouse hepatocytes. Taken together, these results suggest that BBR actions on improving aspects of NAFLD are largely attributable to BBR suppression of inflammation, which is independent of AMPK.
Project description:Obesity commonly co-exists with fatty liver disease with increasing health burden worldwide. Family with Sequence Similarity 13, Member A (FAM13A) has been associated with lipid levels and fat mass by genome-wide association studies (GWAS). However, the function of FAM13A in maintaining metabolic homeostasis in vivo remains unclear. Here, we demonstrated that rs2276936 in this locus has allelic-enhancer activity in massively parallel reporter assays (MPRA) and reporter assay. The DNA region containing rs2276936 regulates expression of endogenous FAM13A in HepG2 cells. In vivo, Fam13a-/- mice are protected from high-fat diet (HFD)-induced fatty liver accompanied by increased insulin sensitivity and reduced glucose production in liver. Mechanistically, loss of Fam13a led to the activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and increased mitochondrial respiration in primary hepatocytes. These findings demonstrate that FAM13A mediates obesity-related dysregulation of lipid and glucose homeostasis. Targeting FAM13A might be a promising treatment of obesity and fatty liver disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Previously, we identified three loci affecting HDL-cholesterol levels in a screen for ENU-induced mutations in mice and discovered two mutated genes. We sought to identify the third mutated gene and further characterize the mouse phenotype. METHODS: We engaged, DNA sequencing, gene expression profiling, western blotting, lipoprotein characterization, metabolomics assessment, histology and electron microscopy in mouse tissues. RESULTS: We identify the third gene as Ampd2, a liver isoform of AMP Deaminase (Ampd), a central component of energy and purine metabolism pathways. The causative mutation was a guanine-to-thymine transversion resulting in an A341S conversion in Ampd2. Ampd2 homozygous mutant mice exhibit a labile hypercholesterolemia phenotype, peaking around 9 weeks of age (251 mg/dL vs. wildtype control at 138 mg/dL), and was evidenced by marked increases in HDL, VLDL and LDL. In an attempt to determine the molecular connection between Ampd2 dysfunction and hypercholesterolemia, we analyzed hepatic gene expression and found the downregulation of Ldlr, Hmgcs and Insig1 and upregulation of Cyp7A1 genes. Metabolomic analysis confirmed an increase in hepatic AMP levels and a decrease in allantoin levels consistent with Ampd2 deficiency, and increases in campesterol and ?-sitosterol. Additionally, nephrotic syndrome was observed in the mutant mice, through proteinuria, kidney histology and effacement and blebbing of podocyte foot processes by electron microscopy. CONCLUSION: In summary we describe the discovery of a novel genetic mouse model of combined transient nephrotic syndrome and hypercholesterolemia, resembling the human disorder.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a highly prevalent component of disorders associated with disrupted energy homeostasis. Although dysregulation of the energy sensor AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is viewed as a pathogenic factor in the development of fatty liver its role has not been directly demonstrated. Unexpectedly, we show here that liver-specific AMPK KO mice display normal hepatic lipid homeostasis and are not prone to fatty liver development, indicating that the decreases in AMPK activity associated with hepatic steatosis may be a consequence, rather than a cause, of changes in hepatic metabolism. In contrast, we found that pharmacological re-activation of downregulated AMPK in fatty liver is sufficient to normalize hepatic lipid content. Mechanistically, AMPK activation reduces hepatic triglyceride content both by inhibiting lipid synthesis and by stimulating fatty acid oxidation in an LKB1-dependent manner, through a transcription-independent mechanism. Furthermore, the effect of the antidiabetic drug metformin on lipogenesis inhibition and fatty acid oxidation stimulation was enhanced by combination treatment with small-molecule AMPK activators in primary hepatocytes from mice and humans. Overall, these results demonstrate that AMPK downregulation is not a triggering factor in fatty liver development but in contrast, establish the therapeutic impact of pharmacological AMPK re-activation in the treatment of fatty liver disease.
Project description:Our previous studies suggested that salidroside could alleviate hepatic steatosis in type 2 diabetic C57BLKS/Leprdb (db/db) mice. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the therapeutic effect of salidroside on high-fat diet- (HFD-) induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) by investigating underlying mechanisms. Mice were fed with HFD or regular diet, randomly divided into two groups, and treated with salidroside or vehicle for 8 weeks. Then, biochemical analyses and histopathological examinations were conducted in vivo and in vitro. Salidroside administration attenuated HFD-induced obesity, blood glucose variability, and hepatic lipid deposition, markedly increasing insulin sensitivity in HFD mice. In addition, salidroside suppressed oxidative stress, thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) expression, and NLRP3 inflammasome activation in the liver. In cultured hepatocytes, salidroside dose dependently regulated lipid accumulation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and NLRP3 inflammasome activation as well as improved AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity and insulin sensitivity. The inhibition of AMPK activation by inhibitor or short interfering RNA (siRNA) resulted in the suppression of the beneficial effects of salidroside in hepatocytes. Our findings demonstrated that salidroside protects against NAFLD by improving hepatic lipid metabolism and NLRP3 inflammasome activation, and these actions are related to the regulation of the oxidative stress and AMPK-dependent TXNIP/NLRP3 pathways.
Project description:Metformin is the mainstay therapy for type 2 diabetes (T2D) and many patients also take salicylate-based drugs [i.e., aspirin (ASA)] for cardioprotection. Metformin and salicylate both increase AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity but by distinct mechanisms, with metformin altering cellular adenylate charge (increasing AMP) and salicylate interacting directly at the AMPK ?1 drug-binding site. AMPK activation by both drugs results in phosphorylation of ACC (acetyl-CoA carboxylase; P-ACC) and inhibition of acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), the rate limiting enzyme controlling fatty acid synthesis (lipogenesis). We find doses of metformin and salicylate used clinically synergistically activate AMPK in vitro and in vivo, resulting in reduced liver lipogenesis, lower liver lipid levels and improved insulin sensitivity in mice. Synergism occurs in cell-free assays and is specific for the AMPK ?1 subunit. These effects are also observed in primary human hepatocytes and patients with dysglycaemia exhibit additional improvements in a marker of insulin resistance (proinsulin) when treated with ASA and metformin compared with either drug alone. These data indicate that metformin-salicylate combination therapy may be efficacious for the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and T2D.
Project description:The triterpenoid 2-Cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9-dien-28-oic-acid (CDDO) and its methyl ester (CDDO-Me) are undergoing clinical trials in cancer and leukemia therapy. Here we report that CDDO-Me ameliorates diabetes in high fat diet-fed type 2 diabetic mice and in Lepr(db/db) mice. CDDO-Me reduces proinflammatory cytokine expression in these animals. Oral CDDO-Me administration reduces total body fat, plasma triglyceride, and free fatty acid levels. It also improves glucose tolerance and insulin tolerance tests. Its potent glucose-lowering activity results from enhanced insulin action. Hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp reveals an increased glucose infusion rate required to maintain euglycemia and showed a significant increase in muscle-specific insulin-stimulated glucose uptake (71% soleus, 58% gastrocnemius) and peripheral glucose clearance as documented by a 48% increase in glucose disposal rate. CDDO-Me activates AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and via LKB1 activation in muscle and liver in vivo. Treatment of isolated hepatocytes with CDDO-Me directly stimulates AMPK activity and LKB1 phosphorylation and decreases acetyl-coA carboxylase activity; it also down-regulates lipogenic gene expression, suppresses gluconeogenesis, and increases glucose uptake. Inhibition of AMPK phosphorylation using compound C and lentiviral-mediated knockdown of AMPK completely blocks the CDDO-Me-induced effect on hepatocytes as well as C(2)C(12) cells. We conclude that the triterpenoid CDDO-Me has potent anti-diabetic action in diabetic mouse models that is mediated at least in part through AMPK activation. The in vivo anti-diabetogenic effects occur at a dose substantially lower than that used for anti-leukemia therapy. We suggest that CDDO-Me holds promise as a potential anti-diabetic agent.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) associates with obesity and type 2 diabetes. Hypoactive AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), hyperactive mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling, and macrophage-mediated inflammation are mechanistically linked to NAFLD. Studies investigating roles of arginase particularly the extrahepatic isoform arginase-II (Arg-II) in obesity-associated NAFLD showed contradictory results. Here we demonstrate that Arg-II(-/-) mice reveal decreased hepatic steatosis, macrophage infiltration, TNF-? and IL-6 as compared to the wild type (WT) littermates fed high fat diet (HFD). A higher AMPK activation (no difference in mTOR signaling), lower levels of lipogenic transcription factor SREBP-1c and activity/expression of lipogenic enzymes were observed in the Arg-II(-/-) mice liver. Moreover, release of TNF-? and IL-6 from bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM) of Arg-II(-/-) mice is decreased as compared to WT-BMM. Conditioned medium from Arg-II(-/-)-BMM exhibits weaker activity to facilitate triglyceride synthesis paralleled with lower expression of SREBP-1c and SCD-1 and higher AMPK activation in hepatocytes as compared to that from WT-BMM. These effects of BMM conditioned medium can be neutralized by neutralizing antibodies against TNF-? and IL-6. Thus, Arg-II-expressing macrophages facilitate diet-induced NAFLD through TNF-? and IL-6 in obesity.