Bile acid metabolism regulated by the gut microbiota promotes non-alcoholic steatohepatitis-associated hepatocellular carcinoma in mice.
ABSTRACT: Gut microbiota plays a significant role in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). However, understanding of the precise mechanism of this process remains incomplete. A new class steatohepatitis-inducing high-fat diet (HFD), namely STHD-01, can promote the development of HCC without the administration of chemical carcinogens. Using this diet, we comprehensively analyzed changes in the gut microbiota and its metabolic functions during the development of HCC in NASH. Mice fed the STHD-01 developed NASH within 9 weeks. NASH further progressed into HCC by 41 weeks. Treatment with antibiotics significantly attenuated liver pathology and suppressed tumor development, indicating the critical role of the gut microbiota in tumor development in this model. Accumulation of cholesterol and bile acids in the liver and feces increased after feeding the mice with STHD-01. Treatment with antibiotics did not reverse these phenotypes. In contrast, accumulation of secondary bile acids was dramatically reduced after the treatment with antibiotics, suggesting the critical role of the gut microbiota in the conversion of primary bile acids to secondary bile acids. Secondary bile acids such as deoxycholic acid activated the mTOR, pathway in hepatocytes. Activation of mTOR was observed in the liver of mice fed STHD-01, and the activation was reduced when mice were treated with antibiotics. Collectively, bile acid metabolism by the gut microbiota promotes HCC development in STHD-01-induced NASH.
Project description:The gut microbiota plays crucial roles in the development of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). However, the precise mechanisms by which alterations of the gut microbiota and its metabolism contributing to the pathogenesis of NASH are not yet fully elucidated.Mice were fed with a recently reported new class of high-fat diet (HFD), steatohepatitis-inducing HFD (STHD)-01 for 9 weeks. The composition of the gut microbiota was analyzed by T-RFLP. Luminal metabolome was analyzed using capillary electrophoresis and liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (CE- and LC-TOFMS).Mice fed the STHD-01 developed NASH-like pathology within a short period. Treatment with antibiotics prevented the development of NASH by STHD-01. The composition of the gut microbiota and its metabolic activities were markedly perturbed in the STHD-01-fed mice, and antibiotic administration normalized these changes. We identified that long-chain saturated fatty acid and n-6 fatty acid metabolic pathways were significantly altered by STHD-01. Of note, the changes in gut lipidome caused by STHD-01 were mediated by gut microbiota, as the depletion of the gut microbiota could reverse the perturbation of these metabolic pathways. A saturated long-chain fatty acid, palmitic acid, which accumulated in the STHD-01 group, activated liver macrophages and promoted TNF-? expression.Lipid metabolism by the gut microbiota, particularly the saturation of fatty acids, affects fat accumulation in the liver and subsequent liver inflammation in NASH.
Project description:Dysregulated bile acids (BAs) are closely associated with liver diseases and attributed to altered gut microbiota. Here, we show that the intrahepatic retention of hydrophobic BAs including deoxycholate (DCA), taurocholate (TCA), taurochenodeoxycholate (TCDCA), and taurolithocholate (TLCA) were substantially increased in a streptozotocin and high fat diet (HFD) induced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis-hepatocellular carcinoma (NASH-HCC) mouse model. Additionally chronic HFD-fed mice spontaneously developed liver tumors with significantly increased hepatic BA levels. Enhancing intestinal excretion of hydrophobic BAs in the NASH-HCC model mice by a 2% cholestyramine feeding significantly prevented HCC development. The gut microbiota alterations were closely correlated with altered BA levels in liver and feces. HFD-induced inflammation inhibited key BA transporters, resulting in sustained increases in intrahepatic BA concentrations. Our study also showed a significantly increased cell proliferation in BA treated normal human hepatic cell lines and a down-regulated expression of tumor suppressor gene CEBP? in TCDCA treated HepG2 cell line, suggesting that several hydrophobic BAs may collaboratively promote liver carcinogenesis.
Project description:Emerging evidence points to a strong association between sex and gut microbiota, bile acids (BAs), and gastrointestinal cancers. Here, we investigated the mechanistic link between microbiota and hepatocellular carcinogenesis using a streptozotocin-high fat diet (STZ-HFD) induced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis-hepatocellular carcinoma (NASH-HCC) murine model and compared results for both sexes. STZ-HFD feeding induced a much higher incidence of HCC in male mice with substantially increased intrahepatic retention of hydrophobic BAs and decreased hepatic expression of tumor-suppressive microRNAs. Metagenomic analysis showed differences in gut microbiota involved in BA metabolism between normal male and female mice, and such differences were amplified when mice of both sexes were exposed to STZ-HFD. Treating STZ-HFD male mice with 2% cholestyramine led to significant improvement of hepatic BA retention, tumor-suppressive microRNA expressions, microbial gut communities, and prevention of HCC. Additionally the sex-dependent differences in BA profiles in the murine model can be correlated to the differential BA profiles between men and women during the development of HCC. These results uncover distinct male and female profiles for gut microbiota, BAs, and microRNAs that may contribute to sex-based disparity in liver carcinogenesis, and suggest new possibilities for preventing and controlling human obesity-related gastrointestinal cancers that often exhibit sex differences.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:The precipitous increase in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is accompanied by a dramatic increase in the incidence of NASH-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). HCC in NASH has a higher propensity to arise without pre-existing cirrhosis compared with other chronic liver diseases. METHODS:To identify the potential links between liver and gut in NASH-related hepatocarcinogenesis, we compared the gut microbiota and mediators of bile acid (BA) signaling in the absence or presence of cirrhosis through the analysis of stool and serum samples from patients with NASH non-HCC and NASH-HCC and healthy volunteers. RESULTS:Serum levels of total and individual BA were higher in NASH compared with healthy controls. Furthermore, serum levels of the primary conjugated BAs glycine-conjugated cholic acid, taurine-conjugated cholic acid, glycine-conjugated chenodeoxycholic acid, and taurine-conjugated chenodeoxycholic acid were significantly increased in cirrhotic vs noncirrhotic patients, independent of the occurrence of HCC. By contrast, serum FGF19 levels were higher in patients with NASH-HCC and associated with tumor markers as well as an attenuation of BA synthesis. Specific alterations in the gut microbiome were found for several bacteria involved in the BA metabolism including Bacteroides and Lactobacilli. Specifically, the abundance of Lactobacilli was associated with progressive disease, serum BA levels, and liver injury in NASH and NASH-HCC. DISCUSSION:Here, we demonstrate a clear association of the altered gut microbiota and primary conjugated BA composition in cirrhotic and noncirrhotic patients with NASH-HCC. Microbiota-associated alterations in BA homeostasis and farnesoid X receptor signaling, via FGF19, might thus contribute to fibrogenesis, liver injury, and tumorigenesis in NASH-HCC.
Project description:<h4>Background and aims</h4>The composition of the human gut microbiota is linked to health and disease, and knowledge of the impact of therapeutics on the microbiota is essential to decipher their biological roles and to gain new mechanistic insights. Here we report the effect of aldafermin, an analog of the gut hormone FGF19, versus placebo on the gut microbiota in a prospective, phase 2 study in patients with NASH.<h4>Approach and results</h4>A total of 176 patients with biopsy-confirmed nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease activity score ? 4), fibrosis (F1-F3 by NASH Clinical Research Network criteria), and elevated liver fat content (? 8% by magnetic resonance imaging-proton density fat fraction) received 0.3 mg (n = 23), 1 mg (n = 49), 3 mg (n = 49), and 6 mg (n = 28) aldafermin or placebo (n = 27) for 12 weeks. Stool samples were collected on day 1 and week 12 and profiled using 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing; 122 patients had paired stool microbiome profiles at both day 1 and week 12. Overall, the state of the gut microbial community was distinctly stable in patients treated with aldafermin, with all major phyla and genera unaltered during therapy. Patients treated with aldafermin showed a significant, dose-dependent enrichment in the rare genus Veillonella, a commensal microbe known to have lactate-degrading and performance-enhancing properties, which correlated with changes in serum bile acid profile.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Veillonella may be a bile acid-sensitive bacteria whose enrichment is enabled by aldafermin-mediated suppression of bile acid synthesis and, in particular, decreases in toxic bile acids. This study provides an integrated analysis of gut microbiome, serum bile acid metabolome, imaging, and histological measurements in clinical trials testing aldafermin for NASH. Our results provide a better understanding of the intricacies of microbiome-host interactions (clinicaltrials.gov trial No. NCT02443116).
Project description:Recent studies underscore important roles of intestinal microbiota and the bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) production in the pathogenesis of liver disease. However, how gut microbiota alters in response to the development of steatosis and subsequent progression to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unclear. We aimed to study the gut microbial changes over liver disease progression using a streptozotocin-high fat diet (STZ-HFD) induced NASH-HCC C57BL/6J mouse model that is highly relevant to human liver disease. The fecal microbiota at various liver pathological stages was analyzed by 16S rDNA gene pyrosequencing. Both UniFrac analysis and partial least squares-discriminant analysis showed significant structural alterations in gut microbiota during the development of liver disease. Co-abundance network analysis highlighted relationships between genera. Spearman correlation analysis revealed that the bacterial species, Atopobium spp., Bacteroides spp., Bacteroides vulgatus, Bacteroides acidifaciens, Bacteroides uniformis, Clostridium cocleatum, Clostridium xylanolyticum and Desulfovibrio spp., markedly increased in model mice, were positively correlated with LPS levels and pathophysiological features. Taken together, the results showed that the gut microbiota was altered significantly in the progression of liver disease. The connection between the gut microbial ecology and the liver pathology may represent potential targets for the prevention and treatment of chronic liver disease and HCC.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is characterized by a robust pro-inflammatory component at both hepatic and systemic levels together with a disease-specific gut microbiome signature. Protein tyrosine phosphatase 1 B (PTP1B) plays distinct roles in non-immune and immune cells, in the latter inhibiting pro-inflammatory signaling cascades. In this study, we have explored the role of PTP1B in the composition of gut microbiota and gut barrier dynamics in methionine and choline-deficient (MCD) diet-induced NASH in mice. METHODS:Gut features and barrier permeability were characterized in wild-type (PTP1B WT) and PTP1B-deficient knockout (PTP1B KO) mice fed a chow or methionine/choline-deficient (MCD) diet for 4 weeks. The impact of inflammation was studied in intestinal epithelial and enteroendocrine cells. The secretion of GLP-1 was evaluated in primary colonic cultures and plasma of mice. RESULTS:We found that a shift in the gut microbiota shape, disruption of gut barrier function, higher levels of serum bile acids, and decreased circulating glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 are features during NASH. Surprisingly, despite the pro-inflammatory phenotype of global PTP1B-deficient mice, they were partly protected against the alterations in gut microbiota composition during NASH and presented better gut barrier integrity and less permeability under this pathological condition. These effects concurred with higher colonic mucosal inflammation, decreased serum bile acids, and protection against the decrease in circulating GLP-1 levels during NASH compared with their WT counterparts together with increased expression of GLP-2-sensitive genes in the gut. At the molecular level, stimulation of enteroendocrine STC-1 cells with a pro-inflammatory conditioned medium (CM) from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages triggered pro-inflammatory signaling cascades that were further exacerbated by a PTP1B inhibitor. Likewise, the pro-inflammatory CM induced GLP-1 secretion in primary colonic cultures, an effect augmented by PTP1B inhibition. CONCLUSION:Altogether our results have unraveled a potential role of PTP1B in the gut-liver axis during NASH, likely mediated by increased sensitivity to GLPs, with potential therapeutic value.
Project description:Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most frequent hepatic pathology in the Western world and may evolve into steatohepatitis (NASH), increasing the risk of cirrhosis, portal hypertension and hepatocellular carcinoma. NAFLD derives from the accumulation of hepatic fat due to discrepant free fatty acid metabolism. Other factors contributing to this are deranged nutrients and bile acids fluxes as well as alterations in nuclear receptors, hormones, and intermediary metabolites, which impact on signaling pathways involved in metabolism and inflammation. Autophagy and host gut-microbiota interplay are also relevant to NAFLD pathogenesis. Notably, liver metabolic pathways and bile acid synthesis as well as autophagic and immune/inflammatory processes all show circadian patterns driven by the biological clock. Gut microbiota impacts on the biological clock, at the same time as the appropriate timing of metabolic fluxes, hormone secretion, bile acid turnover, autophagy and inflammation with behavioural cycles of fasting/feeding and sleeping/waking is required to circumvent hepatosteatosis, indicating significant interactions of the gut and circadian processes in NAFLD pathophysiology. Several time-related factors and processes interplay in NAFLD development, with the biological clock proposed to act as a network level hub. Deranged physiological rhythms (chronodisruption) may also play a role in liver steatosis pathogenesis. The current article reviews how the circadian clock circuitry intimately interacts with several mechanisms involved in the onset of hepatosteatosis and its progression to NASH, thereby contributing to the global NAFLD epidemic.
Project description:Even though advancement in medicine has contributed to the control of many diseases to date, cancer therapy continues to pose several challenges. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) etiology is multifactorial. Recently, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been considered as an important risk factor of HCC. NAFLD can be divided into non-alcoholic simple fatty liver (NAFL) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) based on histopathological features. Recently, studies have indicated that the gut microbiota is associated with NAFLD and HCC. Therefore, in this review, we have discussed the effects of gut microbiota-related mechanisms, including dysbiosis and gut barrier function, and gut microbiota-derived metabolites on NAFLD and HCC pathogenesis and the potential therapeutic strategies for NAFLD and HCC. With a better understanding of the gut microbiota composition and function, new and improved diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic strategies for common liver diseases can be developed.
Project description:Emerging evidence points to a strong association between the gut microbiota and the risk, development and progression of gastrointestinal cancers such as colorectal cancer (CRC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Bile acids, produced in the liver, are metabolized by enzymes derived from intestinal bacteria and are critically important for maintaining a healthy gut microbiota, balanced lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, insulin sensitivity and innate immunity. Given the complexity of bile acid signalling and the direct biochemical interactions between the gut microbiota and the host, a systems biology perspective is required to understand the liver-bile acid-microbiota axis and its role in gastrointestinal carcinogenesis to reverse the microbiota-mediated alterations in bile acid metabolism that occur in disease states. An examination of recent research progress in this area is urgently needed. In this Review, we discuss the mechanistic links between bile acids and gastrointestinal carcinogenesis in CRC and HCC, which involve two major bile acid-sensing receptors, farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and G protein-coupled bile acid receptor 1 (TGR5). We also highlight the strategies and cutting-edge technologies to target gut-microbiota-dependent alterations in bile acid metabolism in the context of cancer therapy.