Ethanol and arachidonic acid synergize to activate Kupffer cells and modulate the fibrogenic response via tumor necrosis factor alpha, reduced glutathione, and transforming growth factor beta-dependent mechanisms.
ABSTRACT: Because of the contribution of ethanol and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) to alcoholic liver disease, we investigated whether chronic ethanol administration and arachidonic acid (AA) could synergistically mediate Kupffer cell (KC) activation and modulate the stellate cell (HSC) fibrogenic response.(1) the effects of ethanol and AA on KC and HSC were as follows: Cell proliferation, lipid peroxidation, H(2)O(2), O(2).(-), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate reduced form (NADPH) oxidase activity, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) were higher in KC(ethanol) than in KC(control), and were enhanced by AA; HSC(ethanol) proliferated faster, increased collagen, and showed higher GSH than HSC(control), with modest effects by AA. (2) AA effects on the control co-culture: We previously reported the ability of KC to induce a pro-fibrogenic response in HSC via reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent mechanisms; we now show that AA further increases cell proliferation and collagen in the control co-culture. The latter was prevented by vitamin E (an antioxidant) and by diphenyleneiodonium (a NADPH oxidase inhibitor). (3) Ethanol effects on the co-cultures: Co-culture with KC(control) or KC(ethanol) induced HSC(control) and HSC(ethanol) proliferation; however, the pro-fibrogenic response in HSC(ethanol) was suppressed because of up-regulation of TNF-alpha and GSH, which was prevented by a TNF-alpha neutralizing antibody (Ab) and by L-buthionine-sulfoximine, a GSH-depleting agent. (4) Ethanol plus AA effects on the co-cultures: AA lowered TNF-alpha in the HSC(control) co-cultures, allowing for enhanced collagen deposition; furthermore, AA restored the pro-fibrogenic response in the HSC(ethanol) co-cultures by counteracting the up-regulation of TNF-alpha and GSH with a significant increase in GSSG and in pro-fibrogenic transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta).These results unveil synergism between ethanol and AA to the mechanism whereby KC mediate ECM remodeling and suggest that even if chronic ethanol consumption sensitizes HSC to up-regulate anti-fibrogenic signals, their effects are blunted by a second "hit" such as AA.
Project description:BACKGROUND & AIMS:Alcohol is a primary cause of liver disease and an important co-morbidity factor in other causes of liver disease. A common feature of progressive liver disease is fibrosis, which results from the net deposition of fibril-forming extracellular matrix (ECM). The hepatic stellate cell (HSC) is widely considered to be the major cellular source of fibrotic ECM. We determined if HSCs are responsive to direct stimulation by alcohol. METHODS:HSCs undergoing transdifferentiation were incubated with ethanol and expression of fibrogenic genes and epigenetic regulators was measured. Mechanisms responsible for recorded changes were investigated using ChIP-Seq and bioinformatics analysis. Ethanol induced changes were confirmed using HSCs isolated from a mouse alcohol model and from ALD patient's liver and through precision cut liver slices. RESULTS:HSCs responded to ethanol exposure by increasing profibrogenic and ECM gene expression including elastin. Ethanol induced an altered expression of multiple epigenetic regulators, indicative of a potential to modulate chromatin structure during HSC transdifferentiation. MLL1, a histone 3 lysine 4 (H3K4) methyltransferase, was induced by ethanol and recruited to the elastin gene promoter where it was associated with enriched H3K4me3, a mark of active chromatin. Chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIPseq) revealed that ethanol has broad effects on the HSC epigenome and identified 41 gene loci at which both MML1 and its H3K4me3 mark were enriched in response to ethanol. CONCLUSIONS:Ethanol directly influences HSC transdifferentiation by stimulating global changes in chromatin structure, resulting in the increased expression of ECM proteins. The ability of alcohol to remodel the epigenome during HSC transdifferentiation provides mechanisms for it to act as a co-morbidity factor in liver disease.
Project description:Background:There are no approved drug treatments for liver fibrosis and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), an advanced stage of fibrosis which has rapidly become a major cause of cirrhosis. Therefore, development of anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic therapies is desired. Mesenchymal stem cell- (MSC-) based therapy, which has been extensively investigated in regenerative medicine for various organs, can reportedly achieve therapeutic effect in NASH via paracrine action. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) encompass a variety of vesicles released by cells that fulfill functions similar to those of MSCs. We herein investigated the therapeutic effects of EVs from amnion-derived MSCs (AMSCs) in rats with NASH and liver fibrosis. Methods:NASH was induced by a 4-week high-fat diet (HFD), and liver fibrosis was induced by intraperitoneal injection of 2?mL/kg 50% carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) twice a week for six weeks. AMSC-EVs were intravenously injected at weeks 3 and 4 in rats with NASH (15??g/kg) and at week 3 in rats with liver fibrosis (20??g/kg). The extent of inflammation and fibrosis was evaluated with quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry. The effect of AMSC-EVs on inflammatory and fibrogenic response was investigated in vitro. Results:AMSC-EVs significantly decreased the number of Kupffer cells (KCs) in the liver of rats with NASH and the mRNA expression levels of inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor- (Tnf-) ?, interleukin- (Il-) 1? and Il-6, and transforming growth factor- (Tgf-) ?. Furthermore, AMSC-EVs significantly decreased fiber accumulation, KC number, and hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activation in rats with liver fibrosis. In vitro, AMSC-EVs significantly inhibited KC and HSC activation and suppressed the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)/toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling pathway. Conclusions:AMSC-EVs ameliorated inflammation and fibrogenesis in a rat model of NASH and liver fibrosis, potentially by attenuating HSC and KC activation. AMSC-EV administration should be considered as a new therapeutic strategy for chronic liver disease.
Project description:Akt kinase isoforms (Akt1, Akt2, and Akt3) have generally been thought to play overlapping roles in phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-mediated-signaling. However, recent studies have suggested that they display isoform-specific roles in muscle and fat. To determine whether such isoform-specificity is observed with respect to alcoholic liver disease (ALD) progression, we examined the role of Akt1, Akt2, and Akt3 in hepatic inflammation, and pro-fibrogenic proliferation and migration using Kupffer cells, hepatic stellate cells (HSC), and hepatocytes in an ethanol and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced two-hit model in vitro and in vivo. We determined that siRNA-directed silencing of Akt2, but not Akt1, significantly suppressed cell inflammatory markers in HSC and Kupffer cells. Although both Akt1 and Akt2 inhibited cell proliferation in HSC, only Akt2 inhibited cell migration. Both Akt1 and Akt2, but not Akt3, inhibited fibrogenesis in hepatocytes and HSC. In addition, our in vivo results show that administration of chronic ethanol, binge ethanol and LPS (EBL) in wild-type C57BL/6 mice activated all three Akt isoforms with concomitant increases in activated forms of phosphoinositide dependent kinase-1 (PDK1), mammalian target-of-rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2), and PI3K, resulting in upregulation in expression of inflammatory, proliferative, and fibrogenic genes. Moreover, pharmacological blocking of Akt2, but not Akt1, inhibited EBL-induced inflammation while blocking of both Akt1 and Akt2 inhibited pro-fibrogenic marker expression and progression of fibrosis. Our findings indicate that Akt isoforms play unique roles in inflammation, cell proliferation, migration, and fibrogenesis during EBL-induced liver injury. Thus, close attention must be paid when targeting all Akt isoforms as a therapeutic intervention.
Project description:AIM:To investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of asiatic acid (AA) on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory response in human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs). METHODS:Cell viability was measured using a cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to determine the mRNA expression of interleukin-8 (IL-8), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-1? (IL-1?), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-?), and transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?) in HCECs. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) was measured using the ROS assay kit. Glutathione (GSH) concentration was measured using the total GSH assay kit. Akt1 and Akt phosphorylation (p-Akt1) levels were measured by Western blotting and immunofluorescence. RESULTS:AA induced toxicity at high concentrations and significantly stimulated the proliferation of HCECs at concentrations of 20 µmol/L for 1h. LPS at concentrations of 300 ng/mL for 1h significantly stimulated the mRNA expression of IL-8, IL-6, IL-1?, TNF-?, and TGF-? in HCECs, while the stimulation effects were significantly inhibited by AA (20 µmol/L). In addition, AA was found to decrease the content of ROS, increase GSH generation, and also inhibit LPS-induced p-Akt in HCECs. CONCLUSION:AA decreases the generation of inflammatory factors IL-8, IL-6, IL-1?, TNF-?, and TGF-? in LPS-stimulated HCECs. AA significantly inhibites the intracellular concentrations of ROS and increases GSH generation. AA also inhibites LPS-induced p-Akt in HCECs. These findings reveal that AA has anti-inflammation effects in LPS-stimulated HCECs.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: 17-O-acetylacuminolide (AA), a diterpenoid labdane, was isolated for the first time from the plant species Neouvaria foetida. The anti-inflammatory effects of this compound were studied both in vitro and in vivo. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Plant extracts were initially tested against LPS-stimulated release of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?) from murine macrophages (RAW264.7 cells). Based on bioassay-guided fractionation, the active compound was identified as AA. AA was tested for its ability to reduce nitric oxide (NO) production, and the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression. The inhibition of a panel of inflammatory cytokines (TNF, IL-1?, IL-6, KC, and GM-CSF) by AA was assessed at the expression and the mRNA levels. Moreover, the effect of AA on the translocation of the transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B (NF-?B) was evaluated in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells and in TNF-stimulated L929 cells. Subsequently, AA was tested in the inhibitor of NF-?B kinase beta (IKK?) activity assay. Lastly, the anti-inflammatory activity of AA in vivo was evaluated by testing TNF production in LPS-stimulated Balb/c mice. KEY RESULTS: AA effectively inhibited TNF-? release with an IC(50) of 2.7 µg/mL. Moreover, AA significantly inhibited both NO production and iNOS expression. It significantly and dose-dependently inhibited TNF and IL-1? proteins and mRNA expression; as well as IL-6 and KC proteins. Additionally, AA prevented the translocation of NF-?B in both cell lines; suggesting that it is acting at a post receptor level. This was confirmed by AA's ability to inhibit IKK? activity, a kinase responsible for activating NF-?B, hence providing an insight on AA's mechanism of action. Finally, AA significantly reduced TNF production in vivo. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: This study presents the potential utilization of this compound, as a lead for the development of an anti-inflammatory drug.
Project description:Hepatocyte apoptosis has been documented in both clinical and experimental alcoholic liver disease. This study was undertaken to examine the effect of dietary zinc supplementation on hepatic apoptosis in mice subjected to a long-term ethanol exposure. Male adult 129S6 mice fed an ethanol-containing liquid diet for 6 months developed hepatitis, as indicated by neutrophil infiltration and elevation of hepatic keratinocyte chemoattractant (KC) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) levels. Apoptotic cell death was detected in ethanol-exposed mice by a terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay and was confirmed by the increased activities of caspase-3 and -8. Zinc supplementation attenuated alcoholic hepatitis and reduced the number of TUNEL-positive cells in association with inhibition of caspase activities. Ethanol exposure caused oxidative stress, as indicated by reactive oxygen species accumulation, mitochondrial glutathione depletion, and decreased metallothionein levels in the liver, which were suppressed by zinc supplementation. The mRNA levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, TNF-R1, FasL, Fas, Fas-associated factor-1, and caspase-3 in the liver were upregulated by ethanol exposure, which were attenuated by zinc supplementation. Zinc supplementation also prevented ethanol-elevated serum and hepatic TNF-alpha levels and TNF-R1 and Fas proteins in the liver. In conclusion, zinc supplementation prevented hepatocyte apoptosis in mice subjected to long-term ethanol exposure, and the action of zinc is likely through suppression of oxidative stress and death receptor-mediated pathways.
Project description:Amphiregulin (AR) involvement in liver fibrogenesis and hepatic stellate cells (HSC) regulation is under study. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its more severe form non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) may progress to cirrhosis and hepatocellular cancer (HCC). Our aim was to investigate ex vivo the effect of AR on human primary HSC (hHSC) and verify in vivo the relevance of AR in NAFLD fibrogenesis. hHSC isolated from healthy liver segments were analyzed for expression of AR and its activator, TNF-α converting enzyme (TACE). AR induction of hHSC proliferation and matrix production was estimated in the presence of antagonists. AR involvement in fibrogenesis was also assessed in a mouse model of NASH and in humans with NASH. hHSC time dependently expressed AR and TACE. AR increased hHSC proliferation through several mitogenic signaling pathways such as EGFR, PI3K and p38. AR also induced marked upregulation of hHSC fibrogenic markers and reduced hHSC death. AR expression was enhanced in the HSC of a murine model of NASH and of severe human NASH. In conclusion, AR induces hHSC fibrogenic activity via multiple mitogenic signaling pathways, and is upregulated in murine and human NASH, suggesting that AR antagonists may be clinically useful anti-fibrotics in NAFLD.
Project description:The lack of approved therapies for hepatic fibrosis seriously limits medical management of patients with chronic liver disease. Since extracellular vesicles (EVs) function as conduits for intercellular molecular transfer, we investigated if EVs from healthy individuals have anti-fibrotic properties. Hepatic fibrogenesis or fibrosis in carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)- or thioacetic acid-induced liver injury models in male or female mice were suppressed by serum EVs from normal mice (EVN) but not from fibrotic mice (EVF). CCl4-treated mice undergoing EVN therapy also exhibited reduced levels of hepatocyte death, inflammatory infiltration, circulating AST/ALT levels and hepatic or circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines. Hepatic histology, liver function tests or circulating proinflammatory cytokine levels were unaltered in control mice receiving EVN. As determined using PKH26-labelled EVN, principal target cells included hepatic stellate cells (HSC; a normally quiescent fibroblastic cell that undergoes injury-induced activation and produces fibrosis during chronic injury) or hepatocytes which showed increased EVN binding after, respectively, activation or exposure to CCl4. In vitro, EVN decreased proliferation and fibrosis-associated molecule expression in activated HSC, while reversing the inhibitory effects of CCl4 or ethanol on hepatocyte proliferation. In mice, microRNA-34c, -151-3p, -483-5p, -532-5p and -687 were more highly expressed in EVN than EVF and mimics of these microRNAs (miRs) individually suppressed fibrogenic gene expression in activated HSC. A role for these miRs in contributing to EVN actions was shown by the ability of their corresponding antagomirs to individually and/or collectively block the therapeutic effects of EVN on activated HSC or injured hepatocytes. Similarly, the activated phenotype of human LX-2 HSC was attenuated by serum EVs from healthy human subjects and contained higher miR-34c, -151-3p, -483-5p or -532-5p than EVs from hepatic fibrosis patients. In conclusion, serum EVs from normal healthy individuals are inherently anti-fibrogenic and anti-fibrotic, and contain microRNAs that have therapeutic actions in activated HSC or injured hepatocytes. Abbreviations: ALT: alanine aminotransferase; AST: aspartate aminotransferase; CCl4: carbon tetrachloride; CCN2: connective tissue growth factor; E: eosin; EGFP: enhanced green fluorescent protein; EVs: extracellular vesicles; EVF: serum EVs from mice with experimental hepatic fibrosis; EVN: serum EVs from normal mice; H: hematoxylin; HSC: hepatic stellate cell; IHC: immunohistochemistry; IL: interleukin; MCP-1: monocyte chemotactic protein-1; miR: microRNA; mRNA: messenger RNA; NTA: nanoparticle tracking analysis; PCNA: proliferating cell nuclear antigen; qRT-PCR: quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction; SDS-PAGE: sodium dodecyl sulphate - polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; αSMA: alpha smooth muscle actin; TAA: thioacetic acid; TG: transgenic; TGF-β: transforming growth factor beta; TEM: transmission electron microscopy; TNFα: tumour necrosis factor alpha.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Fibrogenic pathways in the liver are principally regulated by hepatic stellate cells (HSC), which produce and respond to fibrotic mediators such as connective tissue growth factor (CCN2). The aim of this study was to determine whether CCN2 is shuttled between HSC in membranous nanovesicles, or "exosomes." METHODS:Exosomes were incubated with HSC after isolation from conditioned medium of control or CCN2-green fluorescent protein (GFP)-transfected primary mouse HSC or human LX-2 HSC. Some exosomes were stained fluorescently with PKH26. HSC co-culture experiments were performed in the presence of GW4869 exosome inhibitor. CCN2 or CCN2-GFP were evaluated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction or Western blot. RESULTS:HSC-derived exosomes contained CCN2 or CCN2 mRNA, each of which increased in concentration during HSC activation or after transfection of HSC with CCN2-GFP. Exosomes, stained with either PKH26 or purified from CCN2-GFP-transfected cells, were taken up by activated or quiescent HSC resulting in CCN2-GFP delivery, as shown by their direct addition to recipient cells or by the GW4869-dependency of donor HSC. CONCLUSION:CCN2 is packaged into secreted, nano-sized exosomes that mediate its intercellular transfer between HSC. Exosomal CCN2 may amplify or fine tune fibrogenic signaling and, in conjunction with other exosome constituents, may have utility as a noninvasive biomarker to assess hepatic fibrosis.
Project description:Activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) plays a crucial role in liver fibrogenesis. armepavine (Arm, C19H23O3N), an active compound from Nelumbo nucifera, has been shown to exert immunosuppressive effects on T lymphocytes and on lupus nephritic mice. The aim of this study was to investigate whether Arm could exert anti-hepatic fibrogenic effects in vitro and in vivo. A cell line of rat HSCs (HSC-T6) was stimulated with tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to evaluate the inhibitory effects of Arm. An in vivo therapeutic study was conducted in bile duct-ligated (BDL) rats. BDL rats were given Arm (3 or 10 mg/kg) by gavage twice daily for 3 weeks starting from the onset of BDL. Liver sections were taken for fibrosis scoring, immuno-fluorescence staining and quantitative real-time mRNA measurements. In vitro, Arm (1-10 microM) concentration-dependently attenuated TNF-alpha- and LPS-stimulated alpha-SMA protein expression and AP-1 activation by HSC-T6 cells without adverse cytotoxicity. Arm also suppressed TNF-alpha-induced collagen collagen deposition, NFkappaB activation and MAPK (p38, ERK1/2, and JNK) phosphorylations. In vivo, Arm treatment significantly reduced plasma AST and ALT levels, hepatic alpha-SMA expression and collagen contents, and fibrosis scores of BDL rats as compared with vehicle treatment. Moreover, Arm attenuated the mRNA expression levels of col 1alpha2, TGF-beta1, TIMP-1, ICAM-1, iNOS, and IL-6 genes, but up-regulated metallothionein genes. Our study results showed that Arm exerted both in vitro and in vivo antifibrotic effects in rats, possibly through anti-NF-kappaB activation pathways.