Nuclear receptors constitutive androstane receptor and pregnane X receptor ameliorate cholestatic liver injury.
ABSTRACT: Cholestasis is associated with accumulation of bile acids and lipids, and liver injury. The constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) and pregnane X receptor (PXR) are xenobiotic nuclear receptors that coordinate protective hepatic responses to potentially toxic stimuli, including bile acids. We investigated the role of these receptors in the regulation of bile acid and lipid metabolism in a bile duct ligation (BDL) model of cholestasis applied to receptor knockout mice. Hepatic damage from bile acid accumulation was increased in both CAR knockout (CARKO) and PXR knockout mice, but bile acid concentrations were lower in CARKO mice. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol was elevated in CARKO mice, and serum total cholesterol increased less in CARKO or PXR knockout mice than WT mice after BDL. Gene expression analysis of the BDL knockout animals demonstrated that, in response to cholestasis, PXR and CAR both repressed and induced the specific hepatic membrane transporters Oatp-c (organic anion transporting polypeptide C) and Oatp2 (Na+-dependent organic anion transporter 2), respectively. Induction of the xenobiotic transporter multidrug resistance protein 1 in cholestasis was independent of either PXR or CAR, in contrast to the known pattern of induction of multidrug resistance protein 1 by xenobiotics. These results demonstrate that CAR and PXR influence cholesterol metabolism and bile acid synthesis, as well as multiple detoxification pathways, and suggest their potential role as therapeutic targets for the treatment of cholestasis and lipid disorders.
Project description:Glucocorticoids (GCs) are currently used for the therapeutic management of cholestatic diseases, but their use and molecular mechanism remain controversial. The aims of this study were 1) to assess the therapeutic effect of a 2-week treatment with the GC dexamethasone on hepatic damage in bile duct-ligated rats; 2) to investigate its effect on the activation of the nuclear receptors (NRs) pregnane X receptor (PXR), constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) and GC receptor (GR), and NF-kB, as well as on oxidative stress and bile acid (BA) hepatic composition. Cholestasis was induced by ligation of bile duct (BDL animals) in 16 male Wistar-Kyoto rats, and eight of them were daily treated by oral gavage with 0.125 mg/ml/kg DEX for 14 days. Eight Sham-operated rats were used as controls. Severity of cholestasis was assessed histologically and on plasma biochemical parameters. The nuclear expression of NF-kB (p65), GR, PXR and CAR was measured in hepatic tissue by Western Blot. Oxidative stress was evaluated by measuring malondialdehyde, carbonylated proteins, GHS and ROS content in rat livers. LC-MS was used to measure the plasma and liver concentration of 7 BAs. Histological findings and a significant drop in several markers of inflammation (p65 nuclear translocation, mRNA expressions of TNF-?, IL-1?, IL-6) showed that DEX treatment reversed cholestasis-induced inflammation, and similar results have been obtained with oxidative stress markers. The nuclear expression of p65 and CAR were inversely correlated, with the latter increasing significantly after DEX treatment (p<0.01 vs vehicle). Hepatic BA levels tended to drop in the untreated cholestatic rats, whereas they were similar to those of healthy rats in DEX-treated animals. Plasma BAs decreased significantly in DEX-treated animals with respect to untreated cholestatic rats. In conclusion, DEX reduces inflammation and oxidative stress in BDL rats, and probably CAR is responsible for this effect. Therefore, this NR represents a promising pharmacological target for managing cholestatic and inflammatory liver diseases.
Project description:Organic solute transporter alpha-beta (Ostalpha-Ostbeta) is a heteromeric bile acid and sterol transporter that facilitates the enterohepatic and renal-hepatic circulation of bile acids. Hepatic expression of this basolateral membrane protein is increased in cholestasis, presumably to facilitate removal of toxic bile acids from the liver. In this study, we show that the cholestatic phenotype induced by common bile duct ligation (BDL) is reduced in mice genetically deficient in Ostalpha. Although Ostalpha(-/-) mice have a smaller bile acid pool size, which could explain lower serum and hepatic levels of bile acids after BDL, gallbladder bilirubin and urinary bile acid concentrations were significantly greater in Ostalpha(-/-) BDL mice, suggesting additional alternative adaptive responses. Livers of Ostalpha(-/-) mice had higher messenger RNA levels of constitutive androstane receptor (Car) than wild-type BDL mice and increased expression of Phase I enzymes (Cyp7a1, Cyp2b10, Cyp3a11), Phase II enzymes (Sult2a1, Ugt1a1), and Phase III transporters (Mrp2, Mrp3). Following BDL, the bile acid pool size increased in Ostalpha(-/-) mice and protein levels for the hepatic basolateral membrane export transporters, multidrug resistance-associated protein 3 (Mrp3) and Mrp4, and for the apical bilirubin transporter, Mrp2, were all increased. In the kidney of Ostalpha(-/-) mice after BDL, the apical bile acid uptake transporter Asbt is further reduced, whereas the apical export transporters Mrp2 and Mrp4 are increased, resulting in a significant increase in urinary bile acid excretion.These findings indicate that loss of Ostalpha provides protection from liver injury in obstructive cholestasis through adaptive responses in both the kidney and liver that enhance clearance of bile acids into urine and through detoxification pathways most likely mediated by the nuclear receptor Car.
Project description:The transcription factor nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a key regulator for induction of hepatic detoxification and antioxidant mechanisms, as well as for certain hepatobiliary transporters. To examine the role of Nrf2 in bile acid homeostasis and cholestasis, we assessed the determinants of bile secretion and bile acid synthesis and transport before and after bile duct ligation (BDL) in Nrf2(-/-) mice. Our findings indicate reduced rates of biliary bile acid and GSH excretion, higher levels of intrahepatic bile acids, and decreased expression of regulators of bile acid synthesis, Cyp7a1 and Cyp8b1, in Nrf2(-/-) compared with wild-type control mice. The mRNA expression of the bile acid transporters bile salt export pump (Bsep) and organic solute transporter (Ost?) were increased in the face of impaired expression of the multidrug resistance-associated proteins Mrp3 and Mrp4. Deletion of Nrf2 also decreased ileal apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter (Asbt) expression, leading to reduced bile acid reabsorption and increased loss of bile acid in feces. Finally, when cholestasis is induced by BDL, liver injury was not different from that in wild-type BDL mice. These Nrf2(-/-) mice also had increased pregnane X receptor (Pxr) and Cyp3a11 mRNA expression in association with enhanced hepatic bile acid hydroxylation. In conclusion, this study finds that Nrf2 plays a major role in the regulation of bile acid homeostasis in the liver and intestine. Deletion of Nrf2 results in a cholestatic phenotype but does not augment liver injury following BDL.
Project description:Untreated type 1 diabetes increases hepatic drug metabolism in both human patients and rodent models. We used knockout mice to test the role of the nuclear xenobiotic receptors constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) and pregnane and xenobiotic receptor (PXR) in this process. Streptozotocin-induced diabetes resulted in increased expression of drug metabolizing cytochrome P450s and also increased the clearance of the cytochrome P450 substrate zoxazolamine. This induction was completely absent in Car(-/-) mice, but was not affected by the loss of PXR. Among the many effects of diabetes on the liver, we identified bile acid elevation and activated adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase as potential CAR-activating stimuli. Expression of the CAR coactivator peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator (PGC)-1alpha was also increased in mouse models of type 1 diabetes.The CAR-dependent induction of drug metabolism in newly diagnosed or poorly managed type 1 diabetes has the potential for significant impact on the efficacy or toxicity of therapeutic agents.
Project description:Progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder of bile flow disruption due to abnormal canalicular transport or impaired bile acid (BA) metabolism, causing excess BA accumulation and liver failure. We previously reported an intrahepatic cholestasis mouse model based on loss of function of both farnesoid X receptor (FXR; NR1H4) and a small heterodimer partner (SHP; NR0B2) [double knockout (DKO)], which has strong similarities to human PFIC5. We compared the pathogenesis of DKO livers with that of another intrahepatic cholestasis model, Bsep-/-, which represents human PFIC2. Both models exhibit severe hepatomegaly and hepatic BA accumulation, but DKO showed greater circulating BA and liver injury, and Bsep-/- had milder phenotypes. Molecular profiling of BAs uncovered specific enrichment of cholic acid (CA)-derived BAs in DKO livers but chenodeoxycholate-derived BAs in Bsep-/- livers. Transcriptomic and proteomic analysis revealed specific activation of CA synthesis and alternative basolateral BA transport in DKO but increased chenodeoxycholic acid synthesis and canalicular transport in Bsep-/-. The constitutive androstane receptor (CAR)/pregnane X receptor (PXR)-CYP2B/CYP2C axis is activated in DKO livers but not in other cholestasis models. Loss of this axis in Fxr:Shp:Car:Pxr quadruple knockouts blocked Cyp2b/Cyp2c gene induction, impaired bilirubin conjugation/elimination, and increased liver injury. Differential CYP2B expression in DKO and Bsep-/- was recapitulated in human PFIC5 and PFIC2 livers. In conclusion, loss of FXR/SHP results in distinct molecular pathogenesis and CAR/PXR activation, which promotes Cyp2b/Cyp2c gene transcription and bilirubin clearance. CAR/PXR activation was not observed in Bsep-/- mice or PFIC2 patients. These findings provide a deeper understanding of the heterogeneity of intrahepatic cholestasis.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Bile acids are potentially toxic compounds and their levels of hepatic production, uptake and export are tightly regulated by many inputs, including circadian rhythm. We tested the impact of disrupting the peripheral circadian clock on integral steps of bile acid homeostasis.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Both restricted feeding, which phase shifts peripheral clocks, and genetic ablation in Per1(-/-)/Per2(-/-) (PERDKO) mice disrupted normal bile acid control and resulted in hepatic cholestasis. Restricted feeding caused a dramatic, transient elevation in hepatic bile acid levels that was associated with activation of the xenobiotic receptors CAR and PXR and elevated serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST), indicative of liver damage. In the PERDKO mice, serum bile acid levels were elevated and the circadian expression of key bile acid synthesis and transport genes, including Cyp7A1 and NTCP, was lost. This was associated with blunted expression of a primary clock output, the transcription factor DBP, which transactivates the promoters of both genes.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>We conclude that disruption of the circadian clock results in dysregulation of bile acid homeostasis that mimics cholestatic disease.
Project description:Bile acid (BA) homeostasis is tightly regulated by multiple transcription factors, including farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and small heterodimer partner (SHP). We previously reported that loss of the FXR/SHP axis causes severe intrahepatic cholestasis, similar to human progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis type 5 (PFIC5). In this study, we found that constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) is endogenously activated in Fxr:Shp double knockout (DKO) mice. To test the hypothesis that CAR activation protects DKO mice from further liver damage, we generated Fxr;Shp;Car triple knockout (TKO) mice. In TKO mice, residual adenosine triphosphate (ATP) binding cassette, subfamily B member 11 (ABCB11; alias bile salt export pump [BSEP]) function and fecal BA excretion are completely impaired, resulting in severe hepatic and biliary damage due to excess BA overload. In addition, we discovered that pharmacologic CAR activation has different effects on intrahepatic cholestasis of different etiologies. In DKO mice, CAR agonist 1,4-bis[2-(3,5-dichloropyridyloxy)]benzene (TCPOBOP; here on TC) treatment attenuated cholestatic liver injury, as expected. However, in the PFIC2 model Bsep knockout (BKO) mice, TC treatment exhibited opposite effects that reflect increased BA accumulation and liver injury. These contrasting results may be linked to differential regulation of systemic cholesterol homeostasis in DKO and BKO livers. TC treatment selectively up-regulated hepatic cholesterol levels in BKO mice, supporting de novo BA synthesis. Conclusion: CAR activation in DKO mice is generally protective against cholestatic liver injury in these mice, which model PFIC5, but not in the PFIC2 model BKO mice. Our results emphasize the importance of the genetic and physiologic background when implementing targeted therapies to treat intrahepatic cholestasis.
Project description:BACKGROUND & AIMS:Bile acid transporters maintain bile acid homeostasis. Little is known about the functions of some transporters in cholestasis or their regulatory mechanism. We investigated the hepatic expression of solute carrier organic anion transporter family member 3A1 (SLCO3A1, also called OATP3A1) and assessed its functions during development of cholestasis. METHODS:We measured levels of OATP3A1 protein and messenger RNA and localized the protein in liver tissues from 22 patients with cholestasis and 21 patients without cholestasis, using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, immunoblot, and immunofluorescence analyses. We performed experiments with Slco3a1-knockout and C57BL/6J (control) mice. Mice and Sprague-Dawley rats underwent bile duct ligation (BDL) or a sham operation. Some mice were placed on a 1% cholic acid (CA) diet to induce cholestasis or on a control diet. Serum and liver tissues were collected and analyzed; hepatic levels of bile acids and 7-?-C4 were measured using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. Human primary hepatocytes and hepatoma (PLC/PRF/5) cell lines were used to study mechanisms that regulate OATP3A1 expression and transport. RESULTS:Hepatic levels of OATP3A1 messenger RNA and protein were significantly increased in liver tissues from patients with cholestasis and from rodents with BDL or 1% CA diet-induced cholestasis. Levels of fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19, FGF15 in rodents) were also increased in liver tissues from patients and rodents with cholestasis. FGF19 signaling activated the Sp1 transcription factor and nuclear factor ?B to increase expression of OATP3A1 in hepatocytes; we found binding sites for these factors in the SLCO3A1 promoter. Slco3a1-knockout mice had shorter survival times and increased hepatic levels of bile acid, and they developed more liver injury after the 1% CA diet or BDL than control mice. In hepatoma cell lines, we found OATP3A1 to take prostaglandin E2 and thyroxine into cells and efflux bile acids. CONCLUSIONS:We found levels of OATP3A1 to be increased in cholestatic liver tissues from patients and rodents compared with healthy liver tissues. We show that OATP3A1 functions as a bile acid efflux transporter that is up-regulated as an adaptive response to cholestasis.
Project description:Our previous microarray expression analysis of the long-lived Little mice (Ghrhr(lit/lit)) showed a concerted up-regulation of xenobiotic detoxification genes. Here, we show that this up-regulation is associated with a potent increase in resistance against the adverse effects of a variety of xenobiotics, including the hepatotoxins acetaminophen and bromobenzene and the paralyzing agent zoxazolamine. The classic xenobiotic receptors Car (Constitutive Androstane Receptor) and Pxr (Pregnane X Receptor) are considered key regulators of xenobiotic metabolism. Using double and triple knockout/mutant mouse models we found, however, that Car and Pxr are not required for the up-regulation of xenobiotic genes in Little mice. Our results suggest instead that bile acids and the primary bile acid receptor Fxr (farnesoid X receptor) are likely mediators of the up-regulation of xenobiotic detoxification genes in Little mice. Bile acid levels are considerably elevated in the bile, serum, and liver of Little mice. We found that treatment of wild-type animals with cholic acid, one of the major bile acids elevated in Little mice, mimics in large part the up-regulation of xenobiotic detoxification genes observed in Little mice. Additionally, the loss of Fxr had a major effect on the expression of the xenobiotic detoxification genes up-regulated in Little mice. A large fraction of these genes lost or decreased their high expression levels in double mutant mice for Fxr and Ghrhr. The alterations in xenobiotic metabolism in Little mice constitute a form of increased stress resistance and may contribute to the extended longevity of these mice.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Currently, ursodeoxycholic acid and obeticholic acid are the only two FDA-approved drugs for cholestatic liver diseases. Thus, new therapeutic approaches need to be developed. Here we have evaluated the anti-cholestasis effects of Schisandrol B (SolB), a bioactive compound isolated from Schisandra sphenanthera. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:Hepatoprotective effect of SolB against intrahepatic cholestasis, induced by lithocholic acid (LCA), was evaluated in mice. Metabolomic analysis and gene analysis were used to assess involvement of pregnane X receptor (PXR). Molecular docking, cell-based reporter gene analysis and knockout mice were used to demonstrate the critical role of the PXR pathway in the anti-cholestasis effects of SolB. KEY RESULTS:SolB protected against LCA-induced intrahepatic cholestasis. Furthermore, therapeutic treatment with SolB decreased mortality in cholestatic mice. Metabolomics and gene analysis showed that SolB accelerated metabolism of bile acids, promoted bile acid efflux into the intestine, and induced hepatic expression of the PXR-target genes Cyp3a11, Ugt1a1, and Oatp2, which are involved in bile acid homeostasis. Mechanistic studies showed that SolB activated human PXR and up-regulated PXR target genes in human cell lines. Additionally, SolB did not protect Pxr-null mice from liver injury induced by intrahepatic cholestasis, thus providing genetic evidence that the effect of SolB was PXR-dependent. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS:These findings provide direct evidence for the hepatoprotective effects of SolB against cholestasis by activating PXR. Therefore, SolB may provide a new and effective approach to the prevention and treatment of cholestatic liver diseases.