Macrophage Stimulating Protein Enhances Hepatic Inflammation in a NASH Model.
ABSTRACT: Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a common liver disease characterized by hepatic lipid accumulation (steatosis) and inflammation. Currently, therapeutic options are poor and the long-term burden to society is constantly increasing. Previously, macrophage stimulating protein (MSP)-a serum protein mainly secreted by liver-was shown to inhibit oxidized low-density lipoprotein (OxLDL)/lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-induced inflammation in mouse macrophages. Additionally, MSP could reduce palmitic acid (PA)-induced lipid accumulation and lipogenesis in the HepG2 cell line. Altogether, these data suggest MSP as a suppressor for metabolic inflammation. However, so far the potential of MSP to be used as a treatment for NASH was not investigated. We hypothesized that MSP reduces lipid accumulation and hepatic inflammation. To investigate the effects of MSP in the early stage of NASH, low-density lipoprotein receptor (Ldlr-/-) mice were fed either a regular chow or a high fat, high cholesterol (HFC) diet for 7 days. Recombinant MSP or saline (control) was administrated to the mice by utilizing subcutaneously-implanted osmotic mini-pumps for the last 4 days. As expected, mice fed an HFC diet showed increased plasma and hepatic lipid accumulation, as well as enhanced hepatic inflammation, compared with chow-fed controls. Upon MSP administration, the rise in cholesterol and triglyceride levels after an HFC diet remained unaltered. Surprisingly, while hepatic macrophage and neutrophil infiltration was similar between the groups, MSP-treated mice showed increased gene expression of pro-inflammatory and pro-apoptotic mediators in the liver, compared with saline-treated controls. Contrary to our expectations, MSP did not ameliorate NASH. Observed changes in inflammatory gene expression suggest that further research is needed to clarify the long-term effects of MSP.
Project description:Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), in which there is steatosis and fibrosis in the liver, is linked to metabolic syndrome and progresses to hepatic cirrhosis. In this study, a novel hamster NASH model derived from metabolic syndrome was made using hamsters. Hamsters were fed a normal or a high-fat and high-cholesterol (HFC) diet for 12 weeks. Body weight and the ratio of liver weight to body weight were significantly greater in HFC diet-fed hamsters than in normal diet-fed hamsters. Triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and glucose levels in blood were significantly increased in HFC diet-fed hamsters, and blood pressure also tended to be high, suggesting that the HFC diet-fed hamsters developed metabolic syndrome. Hepatic steatosis and fibrosis were observed in liver sections of HFC diet-fed hamsters, as in patients with NASH, but they were not seen in normal diet-fed hamsters. Chymase generates angiotensin II and transforming growth factor (TGF)-?, both of which are related to hepatic steatosis and fibrosis, and a significant augmentation of chymase activity was observed in livers from HFC diet-fed hamsters. Both angiotensin II and TGF-? were also significantly increased in livers of HFC diet-fed hamsters. Thus, HFC diet-fed hamsters might develop metabolic syndrome-derived NASH that clinically resembles that in NASH patients.
Project description:Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) progresses from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); however, efficacious drugs for NASH treatment are lacking. Sodium alginate (SA), a soluble dietary fiber extracted from brown algae, could protect the small intestine from enterobacterial invasion. NASH pathogenesis has been suggested to be associated with enterobacterial invasion, so we examined the effect of SA on methionine- and choline-deficient (MCD) diet-induced steatohepatitis in mice (the most widely-used model of NASH). The mice (n = 31) were divided into three groups (mice fed with regular chow, MCD diet, and MCD diet premixed with 5% SA) for 4 and 8 weeks. The MCD diet increased lipid accumulation and inflammation in the liver, the NAFLD Activity Score and hepatic mRNA expression of tumor necrosis factor-? and collagen 1?1, and induced macrophage infiltration. Villus shortening, disruption of zonula occludens-1 localization and depletion of mucus production were observed in the small intestine of the MCD-group mice. SA administration improved lipid accumulation and inflammation in the liver, and impaired barrier function in the small intestine. Collectively, these results suggest that SA is useful for NASH treatment because it can prevent hepatic inflammation and fatty degeneration by maintaining intestinal barrier function.
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.
Project description:Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is strongly associated with obesity and may progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and liver fibrosis. The deficit of pharmacological therapies for the latter mainly results from an incomplete understanding of involved pathological mechanisms. Herein, we identify apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) as a suppressor of NASH and fibrosis formation. High fat diet-fed and aged chow-fed liver-specific ASK1-knockout mice develop a higher degree of hepatic steatosis, inflammation and fibrosis compared to controls. In addition, pharmacological inhibition of ASK1 increased hepatic lipid accumulation in wild-type mice. In line, liver-specific ASK1 overexpression protected mice from the development of high fat diet-induced hepatic steatosis and carbon tetrachloride-induced fibrosis. Mechanistically, ASK1 depletion blunts autophagy thereby enhancing lipid droplet accumulation and liver fibrosis. In human livers of lean and obese subjects, ASK1 expression correlated negatively with liver fat content and NASH scores, but positively with markers for autophagy. Taken together, ASK1 may be a novel therapeutic target to tackle NAFLD and liver fibrosis.
Project description:Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is strongly associated with obesity and may progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and liver fibrosis. The deficit of pharmacological therapies for the latter mainly results from an incomplete understanding of involved pathological mechanisms. Herein, we identify apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) as a suppressor of NASH and fibrosis formation. High-fat diet-fed and aged chow-fed liver-specific ASK1-knockout mice develop a higher degree of hepatic steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis compared to controls. In addition, pharmacological inhibition of ASK1 increased hepatic lipid accumulation in wild-type mice. In line, liver-specific ASK1 overexpression protected mice from the development of high-fat diet-induced hepatic steatosis and carbon tetrachloride-induced fibrosis. Mechanistically, ASK1 depletion blunts autophagy, thereby enhancing lipid droplet accumulation and liver fibrosis. In human livers of lean and obese subjects, ASK1 expression correlated negatively with liver fat content and NASH scores, but positively with markers for autophagy. Taken together, ASK1 may be a novel therapeutic target to tackle NAFLD and liver fibrosis.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by lipid accumulation in the liver that may progress to hepatic fibrosis and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Mechanisms underlying NAFLD and NASH are not yet fully understood. Dietary cholesterol was recently shown to be a risk factor for the development of NASH, suggesting a role for intestinal handling of cholesterol. One important regulator of cholesterol homeostasis is the sterol response element-binding protein-2 (SREBP-2) transcription factor. We tested the hypothesis that the overactivation of intestinal SREBP-2 increases the susceptibility to diet-induced NASH. A transgenic mouse model with intestine-specific overexpression of active SREBP-2 (ISR2 mice) driven by villin promoter was used. ISR2 mice and their wild-type littermates were fed a regular chow diet or a high-fat, high-cholesterol (HFHC) diet (15% fat, 1% cholesterol) for 15 wk. Results showed that HFHC feeding to ISR2 mice caused hepatic inflammation with increased levels of proinflammatory cytokines. Histological examination demonstrated extensive fibrosis after a HFHC diet associated with a perivascular as well as pericellular collagen deposits in ISR2 mice compared with wild-type littermates. The severe hepatic inflammation and advanced fibrosis in ISR2 mice was not associated with a difference in lipid accumulation in ISR2 mice compared with wild type littermates after HFHC feeding. These data indicate that overactivation of intestinal SREBP2 promotes diet-induced hepatic inflammation with features of human NASH resulting in rapid severe fibrosis and provide a novel link between regulatory processes of intestinal cholesterol and progression of fatty liver.NEW & NOTEWORTHY The current study highlights the role of overactivation of intestinal SREBP-2 transcription factor in the progression of hepatic fibrosis associated with diet-induced NASH. Mice with intestine-specific overexpression of SREBP-2 demonstrated more inflammation and severe fibrosis in the liver in response to 15 wk of being fed a high-cholesterol, high-fat diet as compared with their wild-type littermates. These data demonstrate a novel link between intestinal regulatory processes of cholesterol metabolism and the pathogenesis of fatty liver diseases.
Project description:In nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), depletion of hepatic antioxidants may contribute to the progression of steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) by increasing oxidative stress that produces lipid peroxidation, inflammation, and fibrosis. We investigated whether depletion of glutathione (GSH) increases NASH-associated hepatic pathology in mice fed a diet deficient in methionine and choline (MCD diet). Wild-type (wt) mice and genetically GSH-deficient mice lacking the modifier subunit of glutamate cysteine ligase (Gclm null mice), the rate-limiting enzyme for de novo synthesis of GSH, were fed the MCD diet, a methionine/choline-sufficient diet, or standard chow for 21 days. We assessed NASH-associated hepatic pathology, including steatosis, fibrosis, inflammation, and hepatocyte ballooning, and used the NAFLD Scoring System to evaluate the extent of changes. We measured triglyceride levels, determined the level of lipid peroxidation products, and measured by qPCR the expression of mRNAs for several proteins associated with lipid metabolism, oxidative stress, and fibrosis. MCD-fed GSH-deficient Gclm null mice were to a large extent protected from MCD diet-induced excessive fat accumulation, hepatocyte injury, inflammation, and fibrosis. Compared with wt animals, MCD-fed Gclm null mice had much lower levels of F?-isoprostanes, lower expression of acyl-CoA oxidase, carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1a, uncoupling protein-2, stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase-1, transforming growth factor-?, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 mRNAs, and higher activity of catalase, indicative of low oxidative stress, inhibition of triglyceride synthesis, and lower expression of profibrotic proteins. Global gene analysis of hepatic RNA showed that compared with wt mice, the livers of Gclm null mice have a high capacity to metabolize endogenous and exogenous compounds, have lower levels of lipogenic proteins, and increased antioxidant activity. Thus, metabolic adaptations resulting from severe GSH deficiency seem to protect against the development of steatohepatitis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Ossabaw miniature swine when fed a diet high in fructose, saturated fat and cholesterol (NASH diet) develop metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) characterized by liver injury and fibrosis. This study was conducted to further characterize the development of NASH in this large animal model. METHODS:Ossabaw swine were fed standard chow (control group; n = 6) or NASH diet (n = 6) for 24 weeks. Blood and liver tissue were collected and liver histology were characterized at 0, 8, 16 and 24 weeks of dietary intervention. Hepatic apoptosis and lipid levels were assessed at week 24. RESULTS:The NASH diet group developed metabolic syndrome and progressive histologic features of NASH including: (a) hepatocyte ballooning at 8 weeks which progressed to extensive ballooning (>90% hepatocytes), (b) hepatic fibrosis at week 16, which progressed to moderate fibrosis, and (c) Kupffer cell accumulation with vacuolization at 8 weeks which progressed through week 24. The NASH diet group showed increased hepatocyte apoptosis that correlated with hepatic total and free cholesterol and free fatty acids, but not esterified cholesterol or triglycerides. CONCLUSIONS:This report further characterizes the progression of diet-induced NASH in the Ossabaw swine model. In Ossabaw swine fed the NASH diet: (a) hepatocyte injury and fibrosis can occur without macrovesicular steatosis or excess triglyceride accumulation; (b) hepatocyte ballooning generally precedes the development of fibrosis; (c) there is increased hepatocyte apoptosis, and it is correlated more significantly with hepatic free cholesterol than hepatic free fatty acids and had no correlation with hepatic triglycerides.
Project description:Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is characterized by liver steatosis and inflammation. Currently, the underlying mechanisms leading to hepatic inflammation are not fully understood and consequently, therapeutic options are poor. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and atherosclerosis share the same etiology whereby macrophages play a key role in disease progression. Macrophage function can be modulated via activation of receptor-ligand binding of Notch signaling. Relevantly, global inhibition of Notch ligand Delta-Like Ligand-4 (DLL4) attenuates atherosclerosis by altering the macrophage-mediated inflammatory response. However, the specific contribution of macrophage DLL4 to hepatic inflammation is currently unknown. We hypothesized that myeloid DLL4 deficiency in low-density lipoprotein receptor knock-out (Ldlr-/-) mice reduces hepatic inflammation. Irradiated Ldlr-/- mice were transplanted (tp) with bone marrow from wild type (Wt) or DLL4f/fLysMCre+/0 (DLL4del) mice and fed either chow or high fat, high cholesterol (HFC) diet for 11 weeks. Additionally, gene expression was assessed in bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) of DLL4f/fLysMCreWT and DLL4f/fLysMCre+/0 mice. In contrast to our hypothesis, inflammation was not decreased in HFC-fed DLL4del-transplanted mice. In line, in vitro, there was no difference in the expression of inflammatory genes between DLL4-deficient and wildtype bone marrow-derived macrophages. These results suggest that myeloid DLL4 deficiency does not contribute to hepatic inflammation in vivo. Since, macrophage-DLL4 expression in our model was not completely suppressed, it can't be totally excluded that complete DLL4 deletion in macrophages might lead to different results. Nevertheless, the contribution of non-myeloid Kupffer cells to notch signaling with regard to the pathogenesis of steatohepatitis is unknown and as such it is possible that, DLL4 on Kupffer cells promote the pathogenesis of steatohepatitis.
Project description:To investigate the effects of tacrolimus (TC) and everolimus (EV) on non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) induced by high fat, high cholesterol and fructose (fast food) diet in C57BL/6J mice.C57BL/6J mice were divided into four groups (n=8). 1) Standard Chow (SC); 2) Fast food (FF) diet; 3) FF + Tacrolimus (TC, 1mg/kg) and; 4) FF + Everolimus (EV, 1mg/kg) and treated for 16 weeks. Serum and tissue samples were analyzed for evidence of inflammation, fibrosis, lipogenesis, and apoptosis.TC and EV treatments significantly reduced the hepatic lipid accumulation, improved liver-body weight ratio, blood biochemistry, and insulin resistance in mice fed with FF diet. However, inflammation, enlarged portal tracts, and fibrosis were pronounced in EV treated group. The lipogenic parameters, Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-?), Sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1(SREBP-1), mammalian target of rapamycin (m-TOR), Stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD-1) and fatty acid translocase (CD36) were significantly down-regulated in livers of TC and EV treated groups as compared to FF group. TC improved Bcl2/Bax ratio, decreased apoptosis, CYP2E1 protein expression and liver fibrosis levels, however, EV offered no such protection. Further, in an In-vitro model of lipotoxicity using the mouse hepatocyte (AML-12) cell line, treatment with TC and EV significantly reduced lipid accumulation and lipogenic and apoptotic markers induced with palmitic acid.In FF diet induced model of NASH, both TC and EV inhibited hepatic lipid accumulation and improved metabolic parameters such as insulin resistance and dyslipidemia. However, mice administered with EV exhibited inflammatory and fibrotic responses despite reduced hepatic steatosis.