Kuppfer cells trigger nonalcoholic steatohepatitis development in diet-induced mouse model through tumor necrosis factor-? production.
ABSTRACT: The mechanisms triggering nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) remain poorly defined.Kupffer cells are the first responding cells to hepatocyte injuries, leading to TNF? production, chemokine induction, and monocyte recruitment. The silencing of TNF? in myeloid cells reduces NASH progression.Increase of TNF?-producing Kupffer cells is crucial for triggering NASH via monocyte recruitment.Myeloid cells-targeted silencing of TNF? might be a tenable therapeutic approach. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), characterized by lipid deposits within hepatocytes (steatosis), is associated with hepatic injury and inflammation and leads to the development of fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocarcinoma. However, the pathogenic mechanism of NASH is not well understood. To determine the role of distinct innate myeloid subsets in the development of NASH, we examined the contribution of liver resident macrophages (i.e. Kupffer cells) and blood-derived monocytes in triggering liver inflammation and hepatic damage. Employing a murine model of NASH, we discovered a previously unappreciated role for TNF? and Kupffer cells in the initiation and progression of NASH. Sequential depletion of Kupffer cells reduced the incidence of liver injury, steatosis, and proinflammatory monocyte infiltration. Furthermore, our data show a differential contribution of Kupffer cells and blood monocytes during the development of NASH; Kupffer cells increased their production of TNF?, followed by infiltration of CD11b(int)Ly6C(hi) monocytes, 2 and 10 days, respectively, after starting the methionine/choline-deficient (MCD) diet. Importantly, targeted knockdown of TNF? expression in myeloid cells decreased the incidence of NASH development by decreasing steatosis, liver damage, monocyte infiltration, and the production of inflammatory chemokines. Our findings suggest that the increase of TNF?-producing Kupffer cells in the liver is crucial for the early phase of NASH development by promoting blood monocyte infiltration through the production of IP-10 and MCP-1.
Project description:Inflammation occurs in all tissues in response to injury or stress and is the key process underlying hepatic fibrogenesis. Targeting chronic and uncontrolled inflammation is one strategy to prevent liver injury and fibrosis progression. Here, we demonstrate that triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1 (TREM-1), an amplifier of inflammation, promotes liver disease by intensifying hepatic inflammation and fibrosis. In the liver, TREM-1 expression was limited to liver macrophages and monocytes and was highly upregulated on Kupffer cells, circulating monocytes, and monocyte-derived macrophages in a mouse model of chronic liver injury and fibrosis induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) administration. TREM-1 signaling promoted proinflammatory cytokine production and mobilization of inflammatory cells to the site of injury. Deletion of Trem1 reduced liver injury, inflammatory cell infiltration, and fibrogenesis. Reconstitution of Trem1-deficient mice with Trem1-sufficient Kupffer cells restored the recruitment of inflammatory monocytes and the severity of liver injury. Markedly increased infiltration of liver fibrotic areas with TREM-1-positive Kupffer cells and monocytes/macrophages was found in patients with hepatic fibrosis. Our data support a role of TREM-1 in liver injury and hepatic fibrogenesis and suggest that TREM-1 is a master regulator of Kupffer cell activation, which escalates chronic liver inflammatory responses, activates hepatic stellate cells, and reveals a mechanism of promotion of liver fibrosis.
Project description:Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality due to liver cirrhosis, liver failure, and hepatocellular carcinoma, and represents a leading indication for liver transplantation in the United States (U.S.). A growing spectrum of novel therapies are currently in clinical development and target several mechanisms of action which address hepatic steatosis, steatohepatitis, and hepatic fibrosis. Cenicriviroc (Allergan, Dublin, Ireland) is a novel oral antagonist of CC-motif chemokine receptors 2 and 5 (CCR2/5) which have demonstrated expression on circulating monocytes and Kupffer cells. Preclinical models have confirmed that CCR2/5 antagonism may block fat accumulation and Kupffer cell activation and disrupt monocyte/macrophage recruitment and hepatic stellate cell activation responsible for fibrogenesis. Herein we review results from the phase 2b CENTAUR trial and study designs for the phase 2b TANDEM and phase 3 AURORA trials and discuss the potential role of cenicriviroc in future pharmacotherapy for NASH fibrosis.
Project description:Vitamin D deficiency and up-regulated TNF?-related signals are reported to be involved in abnormalities including intestinal hyper-permeability, bacterial translocation, systemic/portal endotoxemia, intestinal/adipose tissue/hepatic inflammation, and hepatic steatosis in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). This study aims to explore the molecular mechanisms and effects of chronic calcitriol [1,25-(OH)2D3, hormonal form of vitamin D] on gut-adipose tissue-liver axis abnormalities using a high-fat diet (HFD)-fed rat model of NASH. In HFD-fed obese rats on a 10-week calcitriol (0.3 ?g/kg/TIW) or vehicle treatment (NASH-vit. D and NASH-V rats) reigme, various in vivo and in vitro experiments were undertaken. Through anti-TNF?-TNFR1-NF?B signaling effects, chronic calcitriol treatment significantly restored plasma calcitriol levels and significantly improved vitamin D receptor (VDR) expression in monocytes and the small intestine of NASH-vit. D rats. Significantly, plasma and portal endotoxin/TNF? levels, bacterial translocation to mesenteric lymph nodes, plasma DX-4000-FITC, fecal albumin-assessed intestinal hyper-permeability, over-expression of TNF?-related immune profiles in monocytes, inflammation of intestinal/mesenteric adipose tissue (MAT)/liver and hepatic steatosis were improved by chronic calcitriol treatment of NASH rats. Additionally, in vitro experiments with acute calcitriol co-incubation reversed NASH-V rat monocyte supernatant/TNF?-induced monolayer barrier dysfunction in caco-2 cells, cytokine release from MAT-derived adipocytes, and triglyceride synthesis by lean-V rat hepatocytes. Using in vivo and in vitro experiments, our study reported calcitriol signaling in the gut as well as in adipose tissue. Meanwhile, our study suggests that restoration of systemic and intestinal vitamin D deficiency using by chronic vitamin D treatment effectively reduces TNF?-mediated immunological abnormalities associated with the gut-adipose tissue-liver axis and hepatic steatosis in NASH rats.
Project description:Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease has become the leading liver disease in North America and is associated with the progressive inflammatory liver disease non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Considerable effort has been made to understand the role of resident and recruited macrophage populations in NASH however numerous questions remain. Our goal was to characterize the dynamic changes in liver macrophages during the initiation of NASH in a murine model. Using the methionine-choline deficient diet we found that liver-resident macrophages, Kupffer cells were lost early in disease onset followed by a robust infiltration of Ly-6C+ monocyte-derived macrophages that retained a dynamic phenotype. Genetic profiling revealed distinct patterns of inflammatory gene expression between macrophage subsets. Only early depletion of liver macrophages using liposomal clodronate prevented the development of NASH in mice suggesting that Kupffer cells are critical for the orchestration of inflammation during experimental NASH. Increased understanding of these dynamics may allow us to target potentially harmful populations whilst promoting anti-inflammatory or restorative populations to ultimately guide the development of effective treatment strategies.
Project description:We have recently reported that Kupffer cells consist of two subsets, radio-resistant resident CD68+ Kupffer cells and radio-sensitive recruited CD11b+ Kupffer cells/macrophages (M?s). Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is characterized not only by hepatic steatosis but also chronic inflammation and fibrosis. In the present study, we investigated the immunological mechanism of diet-induced steatohepatitis in fibroblast growth factor 5 (FGF5) deficient mice. After consumption of a high fat diet (HFD) for 8 weeks, FGF5 null mice developed severe steatohepatitis and fibrosis resembling human NASH. F4/80+ M?s which were both CD11b and CD68 positive accumulated in the liver. The production of TNF and FasL indicated that they are the pivotal effectors in this hepatitis. The weak phagocytic activity and lack of CRIg mRNA suggested that they were recruited M?s. Intermittent exposure to 1 Gy irradiation markedly decreased these M?s and dramatically inhibited liver inflammation without attenuating steatosis. However, depletion of the resident subset by clodronate liposome (c-lipo) treatment increased the M?s and tended to exacerbate disease progression. Recruited CD11b+ CD68+ Kupffer cells/M?s may play an essential role in steatohepatitis and fibrosis in FGF5 null mice fed with a HFD. Recruitment and activation of bone marrow derived M?s is the key factor to develop steatohepatitis from simple steatosis.
Project description:Macrophages are strongly adapted to their tissue of residence. Yet, little is known about the cell-cell interactions that imprint the tissue-specific identities of macrophages in their respective niches. Using conditional depletion of liver Kupffer cells, we traced the developmental stages of monocytes differentiating into Kupffer cells and mapped the cellular interactions imprinting the Kupffer cell identity. Kupffer cell loss induced tumor necrosis factor (TNF)- and interleukin-1 (IL-1) receptor-dependent activation of stellate cells and endothelial cells, resulting in the transient production of chemokines and adhesion molecules orchestrating monocyte engraftment. Engrafted circulating monocytes transmigrated into the perisinusoidal space and acquired the liver-associated transcription factors inhibitor of DNA 3 (ID3) and liver X receptor-? (LXR-?). Coordinated interactions with hepatocytes induced ID3 expression, whereas endothelial cells and stellate cells induced LXR-? via a synergistic NOTCH-BMP pathway. This study shows that the Kupffer cell niche is composed of stellate cells, hepatocytes, and endothelial cells that together imprint the liver-specific macrophage identity.
Project description:We sought to determine whether hepatic cholesterol crystals are present in patients or mice with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and whether their presence or distribution correlates with the presence of NASH as compared with simple steatosis. We identified, by filipin staining, free cholesterol within hepatocyte lipid droplets in patients with NASH and in C57BL/6J mice that developed NASH following a high-fat high-cholesterol diet. Under polarized light these lipid droplets exhibited strong birefringence suggesting that some of the cholesterol was present in the form of crystals. Activated Kupffer cells aggregated around dead hepatocytes that included strongly birefringent cholesterol crystals, forming "crown-like structures" similar to those recently described in inflamed visceral adipose tissue. These Kupffer cells appeared to process the lipid of dead hepatocytes turning it into activated lipid-laden "foam cells" with numerous small cholesterol-containing droplets. In contrast, hepatocyte lipid droplets in patients and mice with simple steatosis did not exhibit cholesterol crystals and their Kupffer cells did not form crown-like structures or transform into foam cells. Our results suggest that cholesterol crystallization within hepatocyte lipid droplets and aggregation and activation of Kupffer cells in crown-like structures around such droplets represent an important, novel mechanism for progression of simple steatosis to NASH.
Project description:Recent nutritional epidemiological surveys showed that serum ?-cryptoxanthin inversely associates with the risks for insulin resistance and liver dysfunction. Consumption of ?-cryptoxanthin possibly prevents nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is suggested to be caused by insulin resistance and oxidative stress from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. To evaluate the effect of ?-cryptoxanthin on diet-induced NASH, we fed a high-cholesterol and high-fat diet (CL diet) with or without 0.003% ?-cryptoxanthin to C56BL/6J mice for 12 weeks. After feeding, ?-cryptoxanthin attenuated fat accumulation, increases in Kupffer and activated stellate cells, and fibrosis in CL diet-induced NASH in the mice. Comprehensive gene expression analysis showed that although ?-cryptoxanthin histochemically reduced steatosis, it was more effective in inhibiting inflammatory gene expression change in NASH. ?-Cryptoxanthin reduced the alteration of expression of genes associated with cell death, inflammatory responses, infiltration and activation of macrophages and other leukocytes, quantity of T cells, and free radical scavenging. However, it showed little effect on the expression of genes related to cholesterol and other lipid metabolism. The expression of markers of M1 and M2 macrophages, T helper cells, and cytotoxic T cells was significantly induced in NASH and reduced by ?-cryptoxanthin. ?-Cryptoxanthin suppressed the expression of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-inducible and/or TNF?-inducible genes in NASH. Increased levels of the oxidative stress marker thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) were reduced by ?-cryptoxanthin in NASH. Thus, ?-cryptoxanthin suppresses inflammation and the resulting fibrosis probably by primarily suppressing the increase and activation of macrophages and other immune cells. Reducing oxidative stress is likely to be a major mechanism of inflammation and injury suppression in the livers of mice with NASH.
Project description:Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the most common etiology of chronic liver dysfunction in the United States and can progress to cirrhosis and liver failure. Inflammatory insult resulting from fatty infiltration of the liver is central to disease pathogenesis. Dendritic cells (DCs) are antigen-presenting cells with an emerging role in hepatic inflammation. We postulated that DCs are important in the progression of NASH. We found that intrahepatic DCs expand and mature in NASH liver and assume an activated immune phenotype. However, rather than mitigating the severity of NASH, DC depletion markedly exacerbated intrahepatic fibroinflammation. Our mechanistic studies support a regulatory role for DCs in NASH by limiting sterile inflammation through their role in the clearance of apoptotic cells and necrotic debris. We found that DCs limit CD8(+) T-cell expansion and restrict Toll-like receptor expression and cytokine production in innate immune effector cells in NASH, including Kupffer cells, neutrophils, and inflammatory monocytes. Consistent with their regulatory role in NASH, during the recovery phase of disease, ablation of DC populations results in delayed resolution of intrahepatic inflammation and fibroplasia.Our findings support a role for DCs in modulating NASH. Targeting DC functional properties may hold promise for therapeutic intervention in NASH.
Project description:Extracellular adenosine triphosphate (eATP) released by damaged cells, and its purinergic receptors, comprise a crucial signaling network after injury. Purinergic receptor P2X7 (P2RX7), a major driver of NOD-like receptor family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome activation and IL-1? processing, has been shown to play a role in liver injury in murine diet- and chemically-induced liver injury models. It is unclear, however, whether P2RX7 plays a role in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and which cell type is the main target of P2RX7 pharmacological inhibition. Here, we report that P2RX7 is expressed by infiltrating monocytes and resident Kupffer cells in livers from NASH-affected individuals. Using primary isolated human cells, we demonstrate that P2RX7 expression in CD14+ monocytes and Kupffer cells primarily mediates IL-1? release. In addition, we show that pharmacological inhibition of P2RX7 in monocytes and Kupffer cells, blocks IL-1? release, reducing hepatocyte caspase 3/7 activity, IL-1?-mediated CCL2 and CCL5 chemokine gene expression and secretion, and hepatic stellate cell (HSC) procollagen secretion. Consequently, in a chemically-induced nonhuman primate model of liver fibrosis, treatment with a P2RX7 inhibitor improved histological characteristics of NASH, protecting from liver inflammation and fibrosis. Taken together, these findings underscore the critical role of P2RX7 in the pathogenesis of NASH and implicate P2RX7 as a promising therapeutic target for the management of this disease.