ABSTRACT: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common form of chronic liver disease in developed countries. NAFLD describes a wide range of liver pathologies from simple steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and cirrhosis. NASH is distinguished from simple steatosis by inflammation, cell death and fibrosis. In this study we found that mice lacking triacylglycerol hydrolase (TGH, also known as carboxylesterase 3 or carboxylesterase 1d) are protected from high-fat diet (HFD) - induced hepatic steatosis via decreased lipogenesis, increased fatty acid oxidation and improved hepatic insulin sensitivity. To examine the effect of the loss of TGH function on the more severe NAFLD form NASH, we ablated Tgh expression in two independent NASH mouse models, Pemt(-/-) mice fed HFD and Ldlr(-/-) mice fed high-fat, high-cholesterol Western-type diet (WTD). TGH deficiency reduced liver inflammation, oxidative stress and fibrosis in Pemt(-/-) mice. TGH deficiency also decreased NASH in Ldlr(-/-) mice. Collectively, these findings indicate that TGH deficiency attenuated both simple hepatic steatosis and irreversible NASH.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease worldwide, particularly in obese and type 2 diabetic individuals. NAFLD ranges in severity from benign steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH); and NASH can progress to cirrhosis, primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and liver failure. As such, NAFLD has emerged as a major public health concern. Herein, we used a lipidomic and transcriptomic approach to identify lipid markers associated with western diet (WD) induced NASH in female mice.<h4>Methods</h4>Female mice (low-density lipoprotein receptor null (Ldlr -/-) were fed a reference or WD diet for 38 and 46 weeks. Transcriptomic and lipidomic approaches, coupled with statistical analyses, were used to identify associations between major NASH markers and transcriptomic & lipidomic markers.<h4>Results</h4>The WD induced all major hallmarks of NASH in female Ldlr -/- mice, including steatosis (SFA, MUFA, MUFA-containing di- and triacylglycerols), inflammation (TNF?), oxidative stress (Ncf2), and fibrosis (Col1A). The WD also increased transcripts associated with membrane remodeling (LpCat), apoptosis & autophagy (Casp1, CtsS), hedgehog (Taz) & notch signaling (Hey1), epithelial-mesenchymal transition (S1004A) and cancer (Gpc3). WD feeding, however, suppressed the expression of the hedgehog inhibitory protein (Hhip), and enzymes involved in triglyceride catabolism (Tgh/Ces3, Ces1g), as well as the hepatic abundance of C18-22 PUFA-containing phosphoglycerolipids (GpCho, GpEtn, GpSer, GpIns). WD feeding also increased hepatic cyclooxygenase (Cox1 & 2) expression and pro-inflammatory ?6 PUFA-derived oxylipins (PGE2), as well as lipid markers of oxidative stress (8-iso-PGF2?). The WD suppressed the hepatic abundance of reparative oxylipins (19, 20-DiHDPA) as well as the expression of enzymes involved in fatty epoxide metabolism (Cyp2C, Ephx).<h4>Conclusion</h4>WD-induced NASH in female Ldlr -/- mice was characterized by a massive increase in hepatic neutral and membrane lipids containing SFA and MUFA and a loss of C18-22 PUFA-containing membrane lipids. Moreover, the WD increased hepatic pro-inflammatory oxylipins and suppressed the hepatic abundance of reparative oxylipins. Such global changes in the type and abundance of hepatic lipids likely contributes to tissue remodeling and NASH severity.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common liver disease that ranges from simple steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). So far, the underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. Here, we show that hepatic carboxylesterase 2 (CES2) is markedly reduced in NASH patients, diabetic db/db mice, and high-fat diet (HFD)-fed mice. Restoration of hepatic CES2 expression in db/db or HFD-fed mice markedly ameliorates liver steatosis and insulin resistance. In contrast, knockdown of hepatic CES2 causes liver steatosis and damage in chow- or Western diet-fed C57BL/6 mice. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that CES2 has triglyceride hydrolase activity. As a result, gain of hepatic CES2 function increases fatty acid oxidation and inhibits lipogenesis, whereas loss of hepatic CES2 stimulates lipogenesis by inducing endoplasmic reticulum stress. We further show that loss of hepatic CES2 stimulates lipogenesis in a sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP-1)-dependent manner. Finally, we show that hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha (HNF-4?) plays a key role in controlling hepatic CES2 expression in diabetes, obesity, or NASH. CONCLUSION:CES2 plays a protective role in development of NAFLD. Targeting the HNF-4?/CES2 pathway may be useful for treatment of NAFLD. (Hepatology 2016;63:1860-1874).
Project description:Mice lacking phosphatidylethanolamine <i>N</i>-methyltransferase (PEMT) are protected from high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity and insulin resistance. However, these mice develop severe nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) when fed the HFD, which is mainly due to inadequate secretion of VLDL particles. Our aim was to prevent NAFLD development in mice lacking PEMT. We treated <i>Pemt<sup>-/-</sup></i> mice with either ezetimibe or fenofibrate to see if either could ameliorate liver disease in these mice. Ezetimibe treatment did not reduce fat accumulation in <i>Pemt<sup>-/-</sup></i> livers, nor did it reduce markers for hepatic inflammation or fibrosis. Fenofibrate, conversely, completely prevented the development of NAFLD in <i>Pemt<sup>-/-</sup></i> mice: hepatic lipid levels, as well as markers of endoplasmic reticulum stress, inflammation, and fibrosis, in fenofibrate-treated <i>Pemt<sup>-/-</sup></i> mice were similar to those in <i>Pemt<sup>+/+</sup></i> mice. Importantly, <i>Pemt<sup>-/-</sup></i> mice were still protected against HFD-induced obesity and insulin resistance. Moreover, fenofibrate partially reversed hepatic steatosis and fibrosis in <i>Pemt<sup>-/-</sup></i> mice when treatment was initiated after NAFLD had already been established. Increasing hepatic fatty acid oxidation can compensate for the lower VLDL-triacylglycerol secretion rate and prevent/reverse fatty liver disease in mice lacking PEMT.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common complication of obesity that can progress to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a serious liver pathology that can advance to cirrhosis. The mechanisms responsible for NAFLD progression to NASH remain unclear. Lack of a suitable animal model that faithfully recapitulates the pathophysiology of human NASH is a major obstacle in delineating mechanisms responsible for progression of NAFLD to NASH and, thus, development of better treatment strategies. We identified and characterized a novel mouse model, middle-aged male low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR)(-/-) mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD), which developed NASH associated with four of five metabolic syndrome (MS) components. In these mice, as observed in humans, liver steatosis and oxidative stress promoted NASH development. Aging exacerbated the HFD-induced NASH such that liver steatosis, inflammation, fibrosis, oxidative stress, and liver injury markers were greatly enhanced in middle-aged versus young LDLR(-/-) mice. Although expression of genes mediating fatty acid oxidation and antioxidant responses were up-regulated in young LDLR(-/-) mice fed HFD, they were drastically reduced in MS mice. However, similar to recent human trials, NASH was partially attenuated by an insulin-sensitizing peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR?) ligand, rosiglitazone. In addition to expected improvements in MS, newly identified mechanisms of PPAR? ligand effects included stimulation of antioxidant gene expression and mitochondrial ?-oxidation, and suppression of inflammation and fibrosis. LDLR-deficiency promoted NASH, because middle-aged C57BL/6 mice fed HFD did not develop severe inflammation and fibrosis, despite increased steatosis.MS mice represent an ideal model to investigate NASH in the context of MS, as commonly occurs in human disease, and NASH development can be substantially attenuated by PPAR? activation, which enhances ?-oxidation.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major public health concern in western societies. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), the progressive form of NAFLD, is characterized by hepatic steatosis, inflammation, oxidative stress and fibrosis. NASH is a risk factor for cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. NASH is predicted to be the leading cause of liver transplants by 2020. Despite this growing public health concern, there remain no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved NASH treatments. Using Ldlr -/- mice as a preclinical model of western diet (WD)-induced NASH, we previously established that dietary supplementation with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6,?3) attenuated WD-induced NASH in a prevention study. Herein, we evaluated the capacity of DHA supplementation of the WD and a low fat diet to fully reverse NASH in mice with pre-existing disease.<h4>Methods</h4>Ldlr -/- mice fed the WD for 22 wks developed metabolic syndrome (MetS) and a severe NASH phenotype, including obesity, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, hepatic steatosis, inflammation, fibrosis and low hepatic polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content. These mice were randomized to 5 groups: a baseline group (WDB, sacrificed at 22 wks) and 4 treatments: 1) WD + olive oil (WDO); 2) WD + DHA (WDD); 3) returned to chow + olive oil (WDChO); or 4) returned to chow + DHA (WDChD). The four treatment groups were maintained on their respective diets for 8 wks. An additional group was maintained on standard laboratory chow (Reference Diet, RD) for the 30-wk duration of the study.<h4>Results</h4>When compared to the WDB group, the WDO group displayed increased hepatic expression of genes linked to inflammation (Opn, Il1rn, Gdf15), hepatic fibrosis (collagen staining, Col1A1, Thbs2, Lox) reflecting disease progression. Mice in the WDD group, in contrast, had increased hepatic C20-22 ?3 PUFA and no evidence of NASH progression. MetS and NASH markers in the WDChO or WDChD groups were significantly attenuated and marginally different from the RD group, reflecting disease remission.<h4>Conclusion</h4>While these studies establish that DHA supplementation of the WD blocks WD-induced NASH progression, DHA alone does not promote full remission of diet-induced MetS or NASH.
Project description:BACKGROUND & AIMS:Plasma soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin) is a frequently used biomarker of systemic endothelial dysfunction. The present study explored the relationship between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and plasma sE-selectin levels. METHODS:Expression of E-selectin in liver, visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and muscle was studied in relation to plasma sE-selectin in severely obese individuals (n = 74). The course of hepatic E-selectin expression in relation to hepatic steatosis and inflammation was examined in C57BL/6J LDLR-/- mice on a Western-type diet. The relationship between biomarkers of NAFLD, that is, plasma aminotransferase (ALT) and NAFLD susceptibility genes (rs738409 [PNPLA3] and rs1260326 [GCKR]), and plasma sE-selectin was studied in the combined CODAM (n = 571) and Hoorn (n = 694) studies. RESULTS:E-selectin expression in liver, not VAT or muscle, was associated with plasma sE-selectin in severely obese individuals (? = 0.26; 95% CI: 0.05-0.47). NAFLD severity was associated with hepatic E-selectin expression (P = .02) and plasma sE-selectin (P = .003). LDLR-/- mice on a Western-type diet displayed increased hepatic E-selectin expression that followed the same course as hepatic inflammation, but not steatosis. In the CODAM study, plasma ALT was associated with plasma sE-selectin, independent of potential confounders (? = 0.25; 95% CI: 0.16-0.34). Both rs738409 and rs1260326 were associated with higher plasma sE-selectin in the combined CODAM and Hoorn studies (P = .01 and P = .004 respectively). CONCLUSIONS:NAFLD and related markers are associated with higher expression of hepatic E-selectin and higher levels of plasma sE-selectin. Further studies are required to investigate the role of E-selectin in the pathogenesis of NAFLD and the applicability of sE-selectin as a plasma biomarker of NAFLD/NASH.
Project description:The adipokine chemerin and its receptor, chemokine-like receptor 1 (Cmklr1), are associated with insulin resistance and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which covers a broad spectrum of liver diseases, ranging from simple steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). It is possible that chemerin and/or Cmklr1 exert their effects on these disorders through inflammation, but so far the data have been controversial. To gain further insight into this matter, we studied the effect of whole-body Cmklr1 deficiency on insulin resistance and NAFLD. In view of the primary role of macrophages in hepatic inflammation, we also transplanted bone marrow from Cmklr1 knock-out (Cmklr1-/-) mice and wild type (WT) mice into low-density lipoprotein receptor knock-out (Ldlr-/-) mice, a mouse model for NASH. All mice were fed a high fat, high cholesterol diet containing 21% fat from milk butter and 0.2% cholesterol for 12 weeks. Insulin resistance was assessed by an oral glucose tolerance test, an insulin tolerance test, and by measurement of plasma glucose and insulin levels. Liver pathology was determined by measuring hepatic inflammation, fibrosis, lipid accumulation and the NAFLD activity score (NAS). Whole-body Cmklr1 deficiency did not affect body weight gain or food intake. In addition, we observed no differences between WT and Cmklr1-/- mice for hepatic inflammatory and fibrotic gene expression, immune cell infiltration, lipid accumulation or NAS. In line with this, we detected no differences in insulin resistance. In concordance with whole-body Cmklr1 deficiency, the absence of Cmklr1 in bone marrow-derived cells in Ldlr-/- mice did not affect their insulin resistance or liver pathology. Our results indicate that Cmklr1 is not involved in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance or NAFLD. Thus, we recommend that the associations reported between Cmklr1 and insulin resistance or NAFLD should be interpreted with caution.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) represents a spectrum of diseases ranging from simple steatosis to more severe forms of liver injury including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In humans, only 20%-40% of patients with fatty liver progress to NASH, and mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) develop fatty liver but are resistant to NASH development. To understand how simple steatosis progresses to NASH, we examined hepatic expression of anti-inflammatory microRNA-223 (miR-223) and found that this miRNA was highly elevated in hepatocytes in HFD-fed mice and in human NASH samples. Genetic deletion of miR-223 induced a full spectrum of NAFLD in long-term HFD-fed mice including steatosis, inflammation, fibrosis, and HCC. Furthermore, microarray analyses revealed that, compared to wild-type mice, HFD-fed miR-223 knockout (miR-223KO) mice had greater hepatic expression of many inflammatory genes and cancer-related genes, including (C-X-C motif) chemokine 10 (Cxcl10) and transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif (Taz), two well-known factors that promote NASH development. In vitro experiments demonstrated that Cxcl10 and Taz are two downstream targets of miR-223 and that overexpression of miR-223 reduced their expression in cultured hepatocytes. Hepatic levels of miR-223, CXCL10, and TAZ mRNA were elevated in human NASH samples, which positively correlated with hepatic levels of several miR-223 targeted genes as well as several proinflammatory, cancer-related, and fibrogenic genes. Conclusion: HFD-fed miR-223KO mice develop a full spectrum of NAFLD, representing a clinically relevant mouse NAFLD model; miR-223 plays a key role in controlling steatosis-to-NASH progression by inhibiting hepatic Cxcl10 and Taz expression and may be a therapeutic target for the treatment of NASH.
Project description:Patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease/steatohepatitis (NAFLD/NASH) commonly develop atherosclerosis through a mechanism that is not well delineated. These diseases are associated with steatosis, inflammation, oxidative stress, and fibrosis. The role of insulin resistance in their pathogenesis remains controversial. Albumin (Alb)Cre+ Cc1flox ( fl ) /fl mice with the liver-specific null deletion of the carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1 (Ceacam1; alias Cc1) gene display hyperinsulinemia resulting from impaired insulin clearance followed by hepatic insulin resistance, elevated de novo lipogenesis, and ultimately visceral obesity and systemic insulin resistance. We therefore tested whether this mutation causes NAFLD/NASH and atherosclerosis. To this end, mice were propagated on a low-density lipoprotein receptor (Ldlr) -/- background and at 4 months of age were fed a high-cholesterol diet for 2 months. We then assessed the biochemical and histopathologic changes in liver and aortae. Ldlr-/-AlbCre+Cc1fl/fl mice developed chronic hyperinsulinemia with proatherogenic hypercholesterolemia, a robust proinflammatory state associated with visceral obesity, elevated oxidative stress (reduced NO production), and an increase in plasma and tissue endothelin-1 levels. In parallel, they developed NASH (steatohepatitis, apoptosis, and fibrosis) and atherosclerotic plaque lesions. Mechanistically, hyperinsulinemia caused down-regulation of the insulin receptor followed by inactivation of the insulin receptor substrate 1-protein kinase B-endothelial NO synthase pathway in aortae, lowering the NO level. This also limited CEACAM1 phosphorylation and its sequestration of Shc-transforming protein (Shc), activating the Shc-mitogen-activated protein kinase-nuclear factor kappa B pathway and stimulating endothelin-1 production. Thus, in the presence of proatherogenic dyslipidemia, hyperinsulinemia and hepatic insulin resistance driven by liver-specific deletion of Ceacam1 caused metabolic and vascular alterations reminiscent of NASH and atherosclerosis. Conclusion: Altered CEACAM1-dependent hepatic insulin clearance pathways constitute a molecular link between NASH and atherosclerosis.
Project description:Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) involves steatosis combined with inflammation, which can progress into fibrosis and cirrhosis. Exploring the molecular mechanisms of NASH is highly dependent on the availability of animal models. Currently, the most commonly used animal models for NASH imitate particularly late stages of human disease. Thus, there is a need for an animal model that can be used for investigating the factors that potentiate the inflammatory response within NASH. We have previously shown that 7-day high-fat-high-cholesterol (HFC) feeding induces steatosis and inflammation in both APOE2ki and Ldlr(-/-) mice. However, it is not known whether the early inflammatory response observed in these mice will sustain over time and lead to liver damage. We hypothesized that the inflammatory response in both models is sufficient to induce liver damage over time.APOE2ki and Ldlr(-/-) mice were fed a chow or HFC diet for 3 months. C57Bl6/J mice were used as control.Surprisingly, hepatic inflammation was abolished in APOE2ki mice, while it was sustained in Ldlr(-/-) mice. In addition, increased apoptosis and hepatic fibrosis was only demonstrated in Ldlr(-/-) mice. Finally, bone-marrow-derived-macrophages of Ldlr(-/-) mice showed an increased inflammatory response after oxidized LDL (oxLDL) loading compared to APOE2ki mice.Ldlr(-/-) mice, but not APOE2ki mice, developed sustained hepatic inflammation and liver damage upon long term HFC feeding due to increased sensitivity for oxLDL uptake. Therefore, the Ldlr(-/-) mice are a promising physiological model particularly vulnerable for investigating the onset of hepatic inflammation in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.