Pregnane X receptor promotes ethanol-induced hepatosteatosis in mice.
ABSTRACT: The pregnane X receptor (PXR, NR1I2) is a xenobiotic-sensing nuclear receptor that modulates the metabolic response to drugs and toxic agents. Both PXR activation and deficiency promote hepatic triglyceride accumulation, a hallmark feature of alcoholic liver disease. However, the molecular mechanism of PXR-mediated activation of ethanol (EtOH)-induced steatosis is unclear. Here, using male wildtype (WT) and Pxr-null mice, we examined PXR-mediated regulation of chronic EtOH-induced hepatic lipid accumulation and hepatotoxicity. EtOH ingestion for 8 weeks significantly (1.8-fold) up-regulated Pxr mRNA levels in WT mice. The EtOH exposure also increased mRNAs encoding hepatic constitutive androstane receptor (3-fold) and its target, Cyp2b10 (220-fold), in a PXR-dependent manner. Furthermore, WT mice had higher serum EtOH levels and developed hepatic steatosis characterized by micro- and macrovesicular lipid accumulation. Consistent with the development of steatosis, lipogenic gene induction was significantly increased in WT mice, including sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c target gene fatty-acid synthase (3.0-fold), early growth response-1 (3.2-fold), and TNF? (3.0-fold), whereas the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? target genes was suppressed. Of note, PXR deficiency suppressed these changes and steatosis. Protein levels, but not mRNAs levels, of EtOH-metabolizing enzymes, including alcohol dehydrogenase 1, aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A1, and catalase, as well as the microsomal triglyceride transfer protein, involved in regulating lipid output were higher in Pxr-null than in WT mice. These findings establish that PXR signaling contributes to ALD development and suggest that PXR antagonists may provide a new approach for ALD therapy.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR?) signaling has been shown to regulate lipogenesis and lipid accumulation. Previous studies have shown that hepatic PPAR? is up-regulated in steatotic liver of both animal and human. However, the effects of hepatic PPAR? signaling on alcoholic liver disease (ALD) remain elusive. METHODS:To determine the role of hepatic PPAR? signaling on ALD, wild-type (WT) and hepatocyte-specific PPAR? knockdown (PPAR??Hep) mice were fed a modified Lieber-DeCarli alcohol or isocaloric maltose dextrin control liquid diet for 8 weeks to induce ALD. Blood parameters, hepatic steatosis, and inflammation were measured after 8-week alcohol feeding. RESULTS:Alcohol feeding to WT mice resulted in liver damage (alanine aminotransferase [ALT], 94.68 ± 17.05 U/L; aspartate aminotransferase [AST], 55.87 ± 11.29 U/L), which was significantly alleviated by hepatic PPAR? knockdown (ALT, 57.36 ± 14.98 U/L; AST, 38.06 ± 3.35 U/L). Alcohol feeding led to marked lipid accumulation and up-regulation of lipogenic genes including fatty acid transport protein 1 (FATP1), acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), fatty acid synthase (FASN), lipin1 (LIPIN1), diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1), and diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2 (DGAT2) in the livers of WT mice. Knockdown of hepatic PPAR? significantly alleviated alcohol-induced lipid accumulation and abolished the up-regulation of FASN, DGAT1, and DGAT2. Silencing of PPAR? in FL83B cells significantly decreased ethanol (EtOH)-, linoleic acid-, and EtOH plus linoleic acid-induced lipid accumulation. Knockdown of hepatic PPAR? also significantly reduced alcohol-induced inflammatory chemokine (monocyte chemotactic protein 1 [MCP1], keratinocyte-derived chemokine [KC], interferon gamma-induced protein 10 [IP-10]) and inflammatory infiltration (lymphocyte antigen 6 complex, locus G [Ly6G], and F4/80). CONCLUSIONS:The results suggest that hepatic PPAR? signaling contributes to alcohol-induced liver injury by promoting hepatic steatosis and inflammation.
Project description:Ethanol-inducible cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) contributes to increased oxidative stress and steatosis in chronic alcohol-exposure models. However, its role in binge ethanol-induced gut leakiness and hepatic injury is unclear. This study was aimed at investigating the role of CYP2E1 in binge alcohol-induced gut leakiness and the mechanisms of steatohepatitis. Female wild-type (WT) and Cyp2e1-null mice were treated with three doses of binge ethanol (WT-EtOH or Cyp2e1-null-EtOH) (6g/kg oral gavage at 12-h intervals) or dextrose (negative control). Intestinal histology of only WT-EtOH exhibited epithelial alteration and blebbing of lamina propria, and liver histology obtained at 6h after the last ethanol dose showed elevated steatosis with scattered inflammatory foci. These were accompanied by increased levels of serum endotoxin, hepatic enterobacteria, and triglycerides. All these changes, including the intestinal histology and hepatic apoptosis, determined by TUNEL assay, were significantly reversed when WT-EtOH mice were treated with the specific inhibitor of CYP2E1 chlormethiazole and the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine, both of which suppressed oxidative markers including intestinal CYP2E1. WT-EtOH also exhibited elevated amounts of serum TNF-?, hepatic cytokines, CYP2E1, and lipid peroxidation, with decreased levels of mitochondrial superoxide dismutase and suppressed aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 activity. Increased hepatocyte apoptosis with elevated levels of proapoptotic proteins and decreased levels of active (phosphorylated) p-AKT, p-AMPK, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-?, all of which are involved in fat metabolism and inflammation, were observed in WT-EtOH. These changes were significantly attenuated in the corresponding Cyp2e1-null-EtOH mice. These data indicate that both intestinal and hepatic CYP2E1 induced by binge alcohol seems critical in binge alcohol-mediated increased nitroxidative stress, gut leakage, and endotoxemia; altered fat metabolism; and inflammation contributing to hepatic apoptosis and steatohepatitis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A mouse with hepatocyte-specific deiodinase type II inactivation (Alb-D2KO) is resistant to diet-induced obesity, hepatic steatosis, and hypertriglyceridemia due to perinatal epigenetic modifications in the liver. This phenotype is linked to low levels of Zfp125, a hepatic transcriptional repressor that promotes liver steatosis by inhibiting genes involved in packaging and secretion of very-low-density lipoprotein. METHODS:Here, we used chronic and binge ethanol (EtOH) in mice to cause liver steatosis. RESULTS:The EtOH treatment causes a 2.3-fold increase in hepatic triglyceride content; Zfp125 levels were approximately 50% higher in these animals. In contrast, Alb-D2KO mice did not develop EtOH-induced liver steatosis. They also failed to elevate Zfp125 to the same levels, despite being on the EtOH-containing diet for the same period of time. Their phenotype was associated with 1.3- to 2.9-fold up-regulation of hepatic genes involved in lipid transport and export that are normally repressed by Zfp125, that is, Mttp, Abca1, Ldlr, Apoc1, Apoc3, Apoe, Apoh, and Azgp1. Furthermore, genes involved in the EtOH metabolic pathway, that is, Aldh2 and Acss2, were also 1.6- to 3.1-fold up-regulated in Alb-D2KO EtOH mice compared with control animals kept on EtOH. CONCLUSIONS:EtOH consumption elevates expression of Zfp125. Alb-D2KO animals, which have lower levels of Zfp125, are much less susceptible to EtOH-induced liver steatosis.
Project description:BACKGROUND & AIMS:The most prescribed non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, efavirenz, has been associated with elevated risk of dyslipidemia and hepatic steatosis in HIV-infected patients but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Herein, we investigated the role of pregnane X receptor (PXR) in mediating the adverse effects of efavirenz on lipid homeostasis. METHODS:Cell-based reporter assays, primary cell culture, and multiple mouse models including conditional knockout and humanized mice were combined to study the impact of efavirenz on PXR activities and lipid homeostasis in vitro and in vivo. A novel liver-specific Pxr knockout mouse model was also generated to determine the contribution of hepatic PXR signaling to efavirenz-elicited dyslipidemia and hepatic steatosis. RESULTS:We found that efavirenz is a potent PXR-selective agonist that can efficiently activate PXR and induce its target gene expression in vitro and in vivo. Treatment with efavirenz-induced hypercholesterolemia and hepatic steatosis in mice but deficiency of hepatic PXR abolished these adverse effects. Interestingly, efavirenz-mediated PXR activation regulated the expression of several key hepatic lipogenic genes including fatty acid transporter CD36 and cholesterol biosynthesis enzyme squalene epoxidase (SQLE), leading to increased lipid uptake and cholesterol biosynthesis in hepatic cells. While CD36 is a known PXR target gene, we identified a DR-2-type of PXR-response element in the SQLE promoter and established SQLE as a direct transcriptional target of PXR. Since PXR exhibits considerable differences in its pharmacology across species, we also confirmed these findings in PXR-humanized mice and human primary hepatocytes. CONCLUSIONS:The widely prescribed antiretroviral drug efavirenz induces hypercholesterolemia and hepatic steatosis by activating PXR signaling. Activation of PXR should be taken into consideration for patients undergoing long-term treatment with PXR agonistic antiretroviral drugs. LAY SUMMARY:Efavirenz is widely prescribed for HIV-infected patients but has some side effects. It can increase lipid levels in patients' blood and liver. Here we show that efavirenz can activate a unique liver protein called PXR which mediates the adverse effects of efavirenz on lipid levels in mouse models.
Project description:Hepatic apoptosis is involved in the progression of alcoholic liver disease (ALD). Caspase-8, the apical initiator in death receptor-mediated apoptosis, has been implicated in acute liver injury and in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. However, the relevance of Caspase-8 in the pathogenesis of ALD remains unclear. In the present study, we investigated the impact of Caspase-8 in human and murine alcohol-induced apoptosis and in ALD. We investigated human samples from ALD patients, primary mouse hepatocytes, and hepatocyte-specific Caspase-8 knockout (Casp8?hepa) mice in acute and chronic models of ethanol (EtOH) administration. Caspase-8 activation was detected in liver biopsies from ALD patients, as well as in livers of wild-type (WT) mice after chronic ethanol feeding for 8 weeks using the Lieber-DeCarli model. Lack of Caspase-8 expression in Casp8?hepa animals failed to prevent alcohol-induced liver damage and apoptosis. Instead, inhibition of Caspase-8 shifted the ethanol-induced death signals towards pronounced activation of the intrinsic, mitochondria-dependent apoptosis pathway in Casp8?hepa livers involving enhanced release of cytochrome c, stronger Caspase-9 activation and specific morphological changes of mitochondria. In vitro and in vivo intervention using a pan-caspase inhibitor markedly attenuated alcohol-induced hepatocyte damage in a Caspase-8-independent manner. Surprisingly, EtOH-fed Casp8?hepa mice displayed significantly attenuated steatosis and reduced hepatic triglyceride and free fatty acids content. Caspase-8 is dispensable for alcohol-induced apoptosis, but plays an unexpected role for alcohol-dependent fat metabolism. We provide evidence that simultaneous inhibition of extrinsic and intrinsic apoptosis signaling using pan-caspase inhibitors in vivo might be an optimal approach to treat alcohol-induced liver injury.
Project description:Chronic ethanol (EtOH) consumption causes alcoholic liver disease (ALD), and disruption of the circadian system facilitates the development of ALD. Small heterodimer partner (SHP) is a nuclear receptor and critical regulator of hepatic lipid metabolism. This study aimed at depicting circadian metabolomes altered by chronic EtOH-plus-binge and Shp deficiency using high-throughput metabolomics.Wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 and Shp-/- mice were fed the control diet (CD) or Lieber-DeCarli EtOH liquid diet (ED) for 10 days followed by a single bout of maltose (CD + M) or EtOH (ED + E) binge on the 11th day. Serum and liver were collected over a 24-hour light/dark (LD) cycle at Zeitgeber time ZT12, ZT18, ZT0, and ZT6, and metabolomics was performed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.A total of 110 metabolites were identified in liver and of those 80 were also present in serum from pathways of carbohydrates, lipids, pentose phosphate, amino acids, nucleotides, and tricarboxylic acid cycle. In the liver, 91% of metabolites displayed rhythmicity with ED + E, whereas in the serum, only 87% were rhythmic. Bioinformatics analysis identified unique metabolome patterns altered in WT CD + M, WT ED + E, Shp-/- CD + M, and Shp-/- ED + E groups. Specifically, metabolites from the nucleotide and amino acid pathway (ribose, glucose-6-phosphate, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, and sedoheptulose-7-P) were elevated in Shp-/- CD + M mice during the dark cycle, whereas metabolites including N-methylalanine, 2-hydroxybutyric acid, and 2-hydroxyglutarate were elevated in WT ED + E mice during the light cycle. The rhythmicity and abundance of other individual metabolites were also significantly altered by both control and EtOH diets.Metabolomics provides a useful means to identify unique metabolites altered by chronic EtOH-plus-binge.
Project description:Emerging evidence has shown that FXR activation ameliorates the development of alcoholic liver diseases (ALD) while whole-body deficiency of FXR in mice leads to more severe ALD. However, it's unknown whether the enhanced susceptibility to ALD development in FXR-/- mice is due to deficiency of hepatic FXR or increased toxicity secondary to increased bile acid (BA) levels. Hepatocyte-specific FXR knockout mice (FXRhep-/-) present similar BA levels compared to wild-type mice, and are therefore a useful model to study a direct role of hepatic FXR in ALD development. FXRhep-/- mice were subject to an ALD model with chronic plus binge drinking of alcohol to determine the effects of hepatic FXR deficiency on ALD development. The FXRhep-/- mice showed an altered expression of genes involved in BA and lipid homeostasis with alcohol treatment. Despite a slightly increased trend in hepatic lipid deposition and collagen accumulation in FXRhep-/- mice, there were no significant differences in the severity of steatosis, inflammation, or fibrosis between WT and FXRhep-/- mice. Therefore, these findings indicate that FXR deficiency in hepatocytes might only play a minor role in ALD development. Deficiency of FXR in other non-hepatic tissues and/or increased BA levels resultant from whole-body FXR deficiency might be responsible for more severe ALD development.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Glutathione S-transferase A4-4 (GSTA4) is a key enzyme for removal of toxic lipid peroxidation products such as 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE). In this study, we examined the potential role of GSTA4 on protein carbonylation and progression of alcoholic liver disease by examining the development of liver injury in male wild-type (WT) SV/J mice and SV/J mice lacking functional GSTA4 (GSTA4-/- mice). METHODS:Adult male WT and GSTA4-/- mice were fed chow (N = 10 to 12) or high-fat Lieber-DeCarli liquid diets containing up to 28% calories as ethanol (EtOH) (N = 18 to 20) for 116 days. At the end of the study, half of the EtOH-fed mice were acutely challenged with an EtOH binge (3 g/kg given intragastrically) 12 hours before sacrifice. Carbonylation of liver proteins was assessed by immunohistochemical staining for 4-HNE adduction and by comprehensive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) of purified carbonylated proteins. RESULTS:Chronic EtOH intake significantly increased hepatic 4-HNE adduction and protein carbonylation, including carbonylation of ribosomal proteins. EtOH intake also resulted in steatosis and increased serum alanine aminotransferase. Hepatic infiltration with B cells, T cells, and neutrophils and mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor (TNF)? and interferon (IFN)? was modest in WT mice. However, an EtOH binge increased hepatic necrosis, hepatic cell proliferation, and expression of TNF? mRNA (p < 0.05). EtOH treatment of GSTA4-/- mice increased B-cell infiltration and increased mRNA expression of TNF? and IFN? and of matrix remodeling markers MMP9, MMP13, and Col1A1 (p < 0.05). GSTA4-/- mice exhibited panlobular rather than periportal distribution of 4-HNE-adducted proteins and increased overall 4-HNE staining after EtOH binge. Comprehensive LC-MS of carbonylated proteins identified 1,022 proteins of which 189 were unique to the GSTA4-/- group. CONCLUSIONS:These data suggest long-term adaptation to EtOH in WT mice does not occur in GSTA4-/- mice. Products of lipid peroxidation appear to play a role in inflammatory responses due to EtOH. And EtOH effects on B-cell infiltration and autoimmune responses may be secondary to formation of carbonyl adducts.
Project description:The liver plays a central role in ethanol metabolism, and oxidative stress is implicated in alcohol-mediated liver injury. ?-Catenin regulates hepatic metabolic zonation and adaptive response to oxidative stress. We hypothesized that ?-catenin regulates the hepatic response to ethanol ingestion. Female liver-specific ?-catenin knockout (KO) mice and wild-type (WT) littermates were fed the Lieber-Decarli liquid diet (5% ethanol) in a pairwise fashion. Liver histology, biochemistry, and gene-expression studies were performed. Plasma alcohol and ammonia levels were measured using standard assays. Ethanol-fed (EtOH) KO mice exhibited systemic toxicity and early mortality. KO mice exhibited severe macrovesicular steatosis and 5 to 6-fold higher serum alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase levels. KO mice had a modest increase in hepatic oxidative stress, lower expression of mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (SOD2), and lower citrate synthase activity, the first step in the tricarboxylic acid cycle. N-Acetylcysteine did not prevent ethanol-induced mortality in KO mice. In WT livers, ?-catenin was found to coprecipitate with forkhead box O3, the upstream regulator of SOD2. Hepatic alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase activities and expression were lower in KO mice. Hepatic cytochrome P450 2E1 protein levels were up-regulated in EtOH WT mice, but were nearly undetectable in KO mice. These changes in ethanol-metabolizing enzymes were associated with 30-fold higher blood alcohol levels in KO mice.?-Catenin is essential for hepatic ethanol metabolism and plays a protective role in alcohol-mediated liver steatosis. Our results strongly suggest that integration of these functions by ?-catenin is critical for adaptation to ethanol ingestion in vivo.
Project description:Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a major health problem worldwide and hepatic steatosis is an early response to alcohol consumption. Fat and glycogen are two major forms of energy storage in the liver; however, whether glycogen metabolism in the liver impacts alcohol-induced steatosis has been elusive. In this study, we used a mouse model with overexpression of PPP1R3G in the liver to dissect the potential role of glycogen on alcohol-induced fatty liver formation. PPP1R3G is a regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase 1 and stimulates glycogenesis in the liver. Chronic and binge ethanol (EtOH) feeding reduced glycogen level in the mouse liver and such inhibitory effect of EtOH was reversed by PPP1R3G overexpression. In addition, PPP1R3G overexpression abrogated EtOH-induced elevation of serum levels of alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase, increase in liver triglyceride concentration, and lipid deposition in the liver. EtOH-stimulated sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP)-1c, a master regulator of lipogenesis, was also reduced by PPP1R3G overexpression in vivo. In AML-12 mouse hepatocytes, PPP1R3G overexpression could relieve EtOH-induced lipid accumulation and SREBP-1c stimulation. In conclusion, our data indicate that glycogen metabolism is closely linked to EtOH-induced liver injury and fatty liver formation.