Gene expression signature for biliary atresia and a role for interleukin-8 in pathogenesis of experimental disease.
ABSTRACT: UNLABELLED:Biliary atresia (BA) is a progressive fibroinflammatory obstruction of extrahepatic bile ducts that presents as neonatal cholestasis. Due to the overlap in clinical, biochemical, and histological features with other causes of cholestasis, the diagnosis requires an intraoperative cholangiogram. Thus, we determined whether diseased livers express a gene expression signature unique to BA. Applying stringent statistical analysis to a genome-wide liver expression platform of 64 infants with BA at the time of diagnosis, 14 age-appropriate subjects with intrahepatic cholestasis as diseased controls and seven normal controls, we identified 15 genes uniquely expressed in BA with an accuracy of 92.3%. Among these genes, IL8 and LAMC2 were sufficient to classify subjects with BA distinctly from diseased controls with an area under the curve of 0.934 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.84-1.03), sensitivity of 96.9%, and specificity of 85.7% using their combined first principal component. Direct measurement of interleukin (IL)8 protein in the serum, however, was not different between the two groups. To investigate whether the liver-restricted increase in IL8 was relevant to disease pathogenesis, we inactivated the signaling of IL8 homologs by genetic targeting of the Cxcr2 receptor in a murine model of experimental BA. Disruption of Cxcr2 shortened the duration of cholestasis, decreased the incidence of bile duct obstruction, and improved survival above wild-type neonatal mice. CONCLUSION:The hepatic expression of IL8 and LAMC2 has high sensitivity for BA at diagnosis and may serve as a biomarker of disease, with an important role for the IL8 signaling in experimental BA.
Project description:Although physiologic jaundice of neonates is common, persistent neonatal cholestasis is life-threatening and has multiple etiologies. Among these etiologies, biliary atresia (BA) requires rapid diagnosis and treatment. In diagnosing BA, the surgical pathologist must recognize subtle histologic changes, often with only a small core liver biopsy. To aid in the differential diagnosis of neonatal cholestasis, we investigated Yes-associated protein (YAP), a regulator of organ size and bile duct development. We examined whether a YAP immunostain can highlight emerging hepatobiliary epithelium in BA (n = 28) versus other causes of persistent cholestasis (non-BA; n = 15) and thus serve as a useful diagnostic marker in persistent neonatal jaundice. We show significantly (P < .01) more high-grade (<2) fibrosis and ductular proliferation among BA versus non-BA cases. Likewise, there was significantly more high-grade (2-3/3) cytoplasmic and nuclear YAP staining in BA (97% and 89%) versus non-BA (20% and 13%). High-grade nuclear YAP staining was both sensitive (88%) and specific (87%) for the diagnosis of BA. In contrast to neonatal cholestasis, the differences in YAP localization in cholestatic/obstructed versus nonobstructed adult livers were not significant. Lastly, we found that pharmacologic inhibition of the YAP complex in both cholangiocyte and cholangiocarcinoma cell lines blocked compensatory bile duct proliferation, an early marker of BA that requires nuclear YAP expression, in a time- and dose-dependent manner. In summary, we show that YAP expression modulates both bile duct proliferation and liver damage/fibrosis while acting as a sensitive and specific marker in the differential diagnosis of persistent neonatal cholestasis.
Project description:Biliary atresia is progressive fibro-inflammatory cholangiopathy of young children. Central to pathogenic mechanisms of injury is the tissue targeting by the innate and adaptive immune cells. Among these cells, neutrophils and the IL-8/Cxcl-8 signaling via its Cxcr2 receptor have been linked to bile duct injury. Here, we aimed to investigate whether the intestinal microbiome modulates Cxcr2-dependent bile duct injury and obstruction. Adult wild-type (WT) and Cxcr2-/- mice were fed a diet supplemented with sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (SMZ/TMP) during pregnancy and lactation, and their pups were injected intraperitoneally with rhesus rotavirus (RRV) within 24 hours of life to induce experimental biliary atresia. The maternal exposure to SMZ/TMP significantly lowered the incidence of jaundice and bile duct obstruction and resulted in improved survival, especially in Cxcr2-/- mice. Analyses of the microbiome by deep sequencing of 16S rRNA of the neonatal colon showed a delay in bacterial colonization of WT mice induced by SMZ/TMP, with a notable switch from Proteobacteria to Firmicutes. Interestingly, the genetic inactivation of Cxcr2 alone produced a similar bacterial shift. When treated with SMZ/TMP, Cxcr2-/- mice infected with RRV to induce experimental biliary atresia showed further enrichment of Corynebacterium, Anaerococcus and Streptococcus. Among these, Anaerococcus lactolyticus was significantly associated with a suppression of biliary injury, cholestasis, and survivability. These results suggest that the postnatal development of the intestinal microbiota is an important susceptibility factor for experimental biliary atresia.
Project description:Biliary atresia (BA), a neonatal liver disease, is characterized by obstruction of extrahepatic bile ducts with subsequent cholestasis, inflammation, and progressive liver fibrosis. To gain insights into the pathophysiology of BA, we focused attention on GATA6, a transcription factor implicated in biliary development. Early in fetal development GATA6 expression is evident in cholangiocytes and hepatocytes, but by late gestation it is extinguished in hepatocytes. Utilizing a unique set of BA liver samples collected before and after successful portoenterostomy (PE), we found that GATA6 expression is markedly upregulated in hepatocytes of patients with BA compared with healthy and cholestatic disease controls. This upregulation is recapitulated in two murine models simulating bile duct obstruction and intrahepatic bile ductule expansion. GATA6 expression in BA livers correlates with two established negative prognostic indicators (age at PE, degree of intrahepatic bile ductule expansion) and decreases after normalization of serum bilirubin by PE. GATA6 expression in BA livers correlates with expression of known regulators of cholangiocyte differentiation ( JAGGED1, HNF1β, and HNF6). These same genes are upregulated after enforced expression of GATA6 in human hepatocyte cell models. In conclusion, GATA6 is a novel marker and a putative driver of hepatocyte-cholangiocyte metaplasia in BA, and its expression in hepatocytes is downregulated after successful PE. NEW & NOTEWORTHY A pathological hallmark in the liver of patients with biliary atresia is ductular reaction, an expansion of new bile ductules that are thought to arise from conversion of mature hepatocytes. Here, we show that transcription factor GATA6 is a marker and potential driver of hepatocyte ductal metaplasia in biliary atresia. Hepatocyte GATA6 expression is elevated in biliary atresia, correlates with bile duct expansion, and decreases after successful portoenterostomy.
Project description:Liver biopsy samples were obtained from 64 infants with biliary atresia at the time of intraoperative cholangiogram. Liver biopsy samples were obtained from 14 age-matched infants with other causes of intrahepatic cholestasis, and from 7 deceased-donor children. GeneChip® Human Gene 1.0 ST Array (Affymetrix, CA) were used to screen mRNAs whose expression was specifically regulated in the livers from patients with biliary atresia. Gene expression profiling: Liver biopsy samples obtained from infantas with other causes of intrahepatic cholestasis were served as diseased control. Liver tissue obtained from deceased-donor children were served as normal control. A molecular signataure of biliary atresia at the time of diagnosis was identified by comparing hepatic gene expression profile from biliary atresia to those from diseased and normal controls. This dataset is part of the TransQST collection.
Project description:Biliary obstruction, a severe cholestatic complication, causes accumulation of toxic bile acids (BAs) in liver cells. Glucuronidation, catalyzed by UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) enzymes, detoxifies cholestatic BAs. Using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry, 11 BA glucuronide (-G) species were quantified in prebiliary and postbiliary stenting serum and urine samples from 17 patients with biliary obstruction. Stenting caused glucuronide- and fluid-specific changes in BA-G levels and BA-G/BA metabolic ratios. In vitro glucuronidation assays with human liver and kidney microsomes revealed that even if renal enzymes generally displayed lower KM values, the two tissues shared similar glucuronidation capacities for BAs. By contrast, major differences between the two tissues were observed when four human BA-conjugating UGTs 1A3, 1A4, 2B4, and 2B7 were analyzed for mRNA and protein levels. Notably, the BA-24G producing UGT1A3 enzyme, abundant in the liver, was not detected in kidney microsomes. In conclusion, the circulating and urinary BA-G profiles are hugely impacted under severe cholestasis. The similar BA-glucuronidating abilities of hepatic and renal extracts suggest that both the liver and kidney may contribute to the urine BA-G pool.
Project description:BACKGROUND & AIMS:Biliary atresia (BA) results from a neonatal inflammatory and fibrosing obstruction of bile ducts of unknown etiology. Although the innate immune system has been linked to the virally induced mechanism of disease, the role of inflammasome-mediated epithelial injury remains largely undefined. Here, we hypothesized that disruption of the inflammasome suppresses the neonatal proinflammatory response and prevents experimental BA. METHODS:We determined the expression of key inflammasome-related genes in livers from infants at diagnosis of BA and in extrahepatic bile ducts (EHBDs) of neonatal mice after infection with rotavirus (RRV) immediately after birth. Then, we determined the impact of the wholesale inactivation of the genes encoding IL-1R1 (Il1r1-/-), NLRP3 (Nlrp3-/-) or caspase-1 (Casp1-/-) on epithelial injury and bile duct obstruction. RESULTS:IL1R1, NLRP3 and CASP1 mRNA increased significantly in human livers at the time of diagnosis, and in EHBDs of RRV-infected mice. In Il1r1-/- mice, the epithelial injury of EHBDs induced by RRV was suppressed, with dendritic cells unable to activate natural killer cells. A similar protection was observed in Nlrp3-/- mice, with decreased injury and inflammation of livers and EHBDs. Long-term survival was also improved. In contrast, the inactivation of the Casp1 gene had no impact on tissue injury, and all mice died. Tissue analyses in Il1r1-/- and Nlrp3-/- mice showed decreased populations of dendritic cells and natural killer cells and suppressed expression of type-1 cytokines and chemokines. CONCLUSIONS:Genes of the inflammasome are overexpressed at diagnosis of BA in humans and in the BA mouse model. In the experimental model, the targeted loss of IL-1R1 or NLRP3, but not of caspase-1, protected neonatal mice against RRV-induced bile duct obstruction. LAY SUMMARY:Biliary atresia is a severe inflammatory and obstructive disease of bile ducts occurring in infancy. Although the cause is unknown, activation of the innate and adaptive immune systems injures the bile duct epithelium. In this study we found that patients' livers had increased expression of inflammasome genes. Using mice engineered to inactivate individual inflammasome genes, the epithelial injury and bile duct obstruction were prevented by the loss of Il1r1 or Nlrp3, with a decreased activation of natural killer cells and expression of cytokines and chemokines. In contrast, the loss of Casp1 did not change the disease phenotype. Combined, the findings point to a differential role of inflammasome gene products in the pathogenic mechanisms of biliary atresia.
Project description:Biliary atresia (BA) is the most severe form of obstructive cholangiopathy occurring in infants. Definitive diagnosis of BA usually relies on operative findings together with supporting pathological patterns found in the extrahepatic bile duct. In infancy, overlapping clinical patterns of cholestasis can be found in other diseases including biliary hypoplasia and progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis. In addition, BA has been reported as a phenotype in some rare genetic syndromes. Unlike BA, other cholangiopathic phenotypes have their own established genetic markers. In this study, we used these markers to look for other cholestasis entities in cases diagnosed with BA. DNA from 20 cases of BA, diagnosed by operative findings and histopathology, were subjected to a study of 19 genes associated with infantile cholestasis syndromes, using whole exome sequencing. Variant selection focused on those with allele frequencies in dbSNP150 of less than 0.01. All selected variants were verified by polymerase chain reaction-direct sequencing. Of the 20 cases studied, 13 rare variants were detected in 9 genes: 4 in JAG1 (Alagille syndrome), 2 in MYO5B (progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis [PFIC] type 6), and one each in ABCC2 (Dubin-Johnson syndrome), ABCB11 (PFIC type 2), UG1A1 (Crigler-Najjar syndrome), MLL2 (Kabuki syndrome), RFX6 (Mitchell-Riley syndrome), ERCC4 (Fanconi anemia), and KCNH1 (Zimmermann-Laband syndrome). Genetic lesions associated with various cholestatic syndromes detected in cases diagnosed with BA raised the hypothesis that severe inflammatory cholangiopathy in BA may not be a distinct disease entity, but a shared pathology among several infantile cholestatic syndromes.
Project description:The link between antibiotic treatment and IF-associated liver disease (IFALD) is unclear. Here, we study the effect of antibiotic treatment on bile acid (BA) metabolism and investigate the involved mechanisms. The results showed that pediatric IF patients with cholestasis had a significantly lower abundance of BA-biotransforming bacteria than patients without cholestasis. In addition, the BA composition was altered in the serum, feces, and liver of pediatric IF patients with cholestasis, as reflected by the increased proportion of primary BAs. In the ileum, farnesoid X receptor (FXR) expression was reduced in patients with cholestasis. Correspondingly, the serum FGF19 levels decreased significantly in patients with cholestasis. In the liver, the expression of the rate-limiting enzyme in bile salt synthesis, cytochrome P450 7a1 (CYP7A1), increased noticeably in IF patients with cholestasis. In mice, we showed that oral antibiotics (gentamicin, GM or vancomycin, VCM) reduced colonic microbial diversity, with a decrease in both Gram-negative bacteria (GM affected Eubacterium and Bacteroides) and Gram-positive bacteria (VCM affected Clostridium, Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus). Concomitantly, treatment with GM or VCM decreased secondary BAs in the colonic contents, with a simultaneous increase in primary BAs in plasma. Moreover, the changes in the colonic BA profile especially that of tauro-beta-muricholic acid (T?MCA), were predominantly associated with the inhibition of the FXR and further altered BA synthesis and transport. In conclusion, the administration of antibiotics significantly decreased the intestinal microbiota diversity and subsequently altered the BA composition. The alterations in BA composition contributed to cholestasis in IF patients by regulating FXR signaling.
Project description:Cholestasis is a clinical disorder defined as an impairment of bile flow, and that leads to toxic bile acid (BA) accumulation in hepatocytes. Here, we investigated the hepatoprotective effect of Yinchenhaotang (YCHT), a well-known formulae for the treatment of jaundice and liver disorders, against the cholestasis using the ?-naphthylisothiocyanate (ANIT)-induced cholestasis in male Wistar rats. ANIT feeding induced significant cholestasis with substantially increased intrahepatic retention of hydrophobic BAs. The dynamic changes of serum and liver BAs indicated that YCHT was able to attenuate ANIT-induced BA perturbation, which is consistent with the histopathological findings that YCHT significantly decreased the liver damage. YCHT treatment substantially reduced serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (AST), total bilirubin (TBIL) and direct bilirubin (DBIL) with minimal bile duct damage in the ANIT treated rats. Elevated mRNA expression of liver IL-6, IL-17A, IL-17F, TGF-?1, ?-SMA, TGR5, NTCP, OATP1a1, and ileum ASBT and decreased liver IL-10, FXR, CAR, VDR, BSEP, MRP2, MRP3, MRP4 was also observed in ANIT-induced cholestasis but were attenuated or normalized by YCHT. Our results demonstrated that the BA profiles were significantly altered with ANIT intervention and YCHT possesses the hepatoprotective potential against cholestatic liver injury induced by hepatotoxin such as ANIT.
Project description:The liver is the main site of estrogen metabolism, and liver disease is usually associated with an abnormal estrogen status. However, little is known about the mechanism underlying this connection. Here, we investigated the effects of bile acid (BA)-activated farnesoid X receptor (FXR) on the metabolism of 17?-estradiol (E2) during blockage of bile flow (cholestasis). Correlations between BA levels and E2 concentrations were established in patients with cholestasis, and hepatic expression profiles of key genes involved in estrogen metabolism were investigated in both WT and FXR-/- mice. We found that the elevated E2 level positively correlated with BA concentrations in the patients with cholestasis. We further observed that bile duct ligation (BDL) increases E2 levels in mouse serum, and this elevation effect was alleviated by deleting the FXR gene. Of note, FXR down-regulated the expression of hepatic sulfotransferase SULT1E1, the primary enzyme responsible for metabolic estrogen inactivation. At the molecular level, we found that FXR competes with the protein acetylase CREB-binding protein (CBP) for binding to the transcription factor hepatocyte nuclear factor 4? (HNF4?). This competition decreased HNF4? acetylation and nuclear retention, which, in turn, repressed HNF4?-dependent SULT1E1 gene transcription. These findings suggest that cholestasis induces BA-activated FXR activity, leading to downstream inhibition of SULT1E1 and hence impeding hepatic degradation of estrogen.