Expression of STING Is Increased in Liver Tissues From Patients With NAFLD and Promotes Macrophage-Mediated Hepatic Inflammation and Fibrosis in Mice.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND & AIMS:Transmembrane protein 173 (TMEM173 or STING) signaling by macrophage activates the type I interferon-mediated innate immune response. The innate immune response contributes to hepatic steatosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We investigated whether STING regulates diet-induced in hepatic steatosis, inflammation, and liver fibrosis in mice. METHODS:Mice with disruption of Tmem173 (STINGgt) on a C57BL/6J background, mice without disruption of this gene (controls), and mice with disruption of Tmem173 only in myeloid cells were fed a standard chow diet, a high-fat diet (HFD; 60% fat calories), or a methionine- and choline-deficient diet (MCD). Liver tissues were collected and analyzed by histology and immunohistochemistry. Bone marrow cells were isolated from mice, differentiated into macrophages, and incubated with 5,6-dimethylxanthenone-4-acetic acid (DMXAA; an activator of STING) or cyclic guanosine monophosphate-adenosine monophosphate (cGAMP). Macrophages or their media were applied to mouse hepatocytes or human hepatic stellate cells (LX2) cells, which were analyzed for cytokine expression, protein phosphorylation, and fat deposition (by oil red O staining after incubation with palmitate). We obtained liver tissues from patients with and without NAFLD and analyzed these by immunohistochemistry. RESULTS:Non-parenchymal cells of liver tissues from patients with NAFLD had higher levels of STING than cells of liver tissues from patients without NAFLD. STINGgt mice and mice with disruption only in myeloid cells developed less severe hepatic steatosis, inflammation, and/or fibrosis after the HFD or MCD than control mice. Levels of phosphorylated c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p65 and mRNAs encoding tumor necrosis factor and interleukins 1B and 6 (markers of inflammation) were significantly lower in liver tissues from STINGgt mice vs control mice after the HFD or MCD. Transplantation of bone marrow cells from control mice to STINGgt mice restored the severity of steatosis and inflammation after the HFD. Macrophages from control, but not STINGgt, mice increased markers of inflammation in response to lipopolysaccharide and cGAMP. Hepatocytes and stellate cells cocultured with STINGgt macrophages in the presence of DMXAA or incubated with the medium collected from these macrophages had decreased fat deposition and markers of inflammation compared with hepatocytes or stellate cells incubated with control macrophages. CONCLUSIONS:Levels of STING were increased in liver tissues from patients with NAFLD and mice with HFD-induced steatosis. In mice, loss of STING from macrophages decreased the severity of liver fibrosis and the inflammatory response. STING might be a therapeutic target for NAFLD.
Project description:Innate immune activation contributes to the transition from nonalcoholic fatty liver to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Stimulator of IFN genes (STING, also referred to Tmem173) is a universal receptor that recognizes released DNA and triggers innate immune activation. In this work, we investigated the role of STING in the progression of NASH in mice. Both methionine- and choline-deficient diet (MCD) and high-fat diet (HFD) were used to induce NASH in mice. Strikingly, STING deficiency attenuated steatosis, fibrosis, and inflammation in livers in both murine models of NASH. Additionally, STING deficiency increased fasting glucose levels in mice independently of insulin, but mitigated HFD-induced insulin resistance and weight gain and reduced levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL in serum; it also enhanced levels of HDL. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from hepatocytes of HFD-fed mice induced TNF-? and IL-6 expression in cultured Kupffer cells (KCs), which was attenuated by STING deficiency or pretreatment with BAY11-7082 (an NF-?B inhibitor). Finally, chronic exposure to 5,6-dimethylxanthenone-4-acetic acid (DMXAA, a STING agonist) led to hepatic steatosis and inflammation in WT mice, but not in STING-deficient mice. We proposed that STING functions as an mtDNA sensor in the KCs of liver under lipid overload and induces NF-?B-dependent inflammation in NASH.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) afflicts 20-36% of individuals with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). A lipotoxic hepatic environment, altered innate immune signaling and inflammation are defining features of progression to NASH. Activated resident liver macrophages express folate receptor beta (FR-?) which may be an indicator of progression from steatosis to NASH. The goals of this study were to characterize FR-? protein expression in human NAFLD and rodent models of NASH, and demonstrate liver targeting of an FR-? imaging agent to the liver of a rodent NASH model using FR-?. METHODS:Rat liver lysates from methionine choline deficient (MCD) fed rats, high fat diet (HFD) and methionine choline sufficient (MC+) rat controls were analyzed for hepatic FR-? protein. The FR-?-targeted agent, Etarfolatide was injected into MCD and MC?+?-fed C57BL/6 mice for efficient FastSPECT hepatic imaging. Additionally, FR-? expression across the stages of human NAFLD from normal to NASH was assessed. RESULTS:FastSPECT images show targeting of Etarfolatide to the liver of mice fed 8?weeks of MCD diet but not control-fed mice. The MCD rat model exhibited significantly increased protein expression of hepatic FR-? in contrast to HFD or normal samples. Similarly human liver samples categorized as NASH Fatty or NASH Not Fatty showed elevated FR-? protein when compared to normal liver. FR-? transcript expression levels were elevated across both NASH Fatty and NASH Not Fatty samples. CONCLUSION:The findings in this study indicate that FR-? expression in NASH may be harnessed to target agents directly to the liver.
Project description:Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes and is characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver (steatosis). NAFLD can transition into non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), with liver cell injury, inflammation, and an increased risk of fibrosis. We previously found that injections of either 1866, a synthetic ligand for the lectin receptor CD209, or DANA, a sialidase inhibitor, can inhibit inflammation and fibrosis in multiple animal models. The methionine and choline-deficient (MCD) diet is a model of NASH which results in the rapid induction of liver steatosis and inflammation. In this report, we show that for C57BL/6 mice on a MCD diet, injections of both 1866 and DANA reversed MCD diet-induced decreases in white fat, decreases in adipocyte size, and white fat inflammation. However, these effects were not observed in type 2 diabetic db/db mice on a MCD diet. In db/db mice on a MCD diet, 1866 decreased liver steatosis, but these effects were not observed in C57BL/6 mice. There was no correlation between the ability of 1866 or DANA to affect steatosis and the effects of these compounds on the density of liver macrophage cells expressing CLEC4F, CD64, F4/80, or Mac2. Together these results indicate that 1866 and DANA modulate adipocyte size and adipose tissue macrophage populations, that 1866 could be useful for modulating steatosis, and that changes in the local density of 4 different liver macrophages cell types do not correlate with effects on liver steatosis.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Diethyldithiocarbamate (DDC) is a major metabolite of disulfiram that is a potential drug for alcoholism treatment. In the present study, we attempted to explore the possible effect of DDC on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and related fibrosis in vivo. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:C57BL/6 mice and Sprague Dawley (SD) rats received a methionine/choline-deficient (MCD) diet to establish the model of NAFLD with or without DDC treatment. The livers and serum were assessed for histological changes and parameters related to lipid metabolism, liver injury, inflammation and fibrosis. Apoptosis and macrophage related markers were assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC). KEY RESULTS:DDC significantly reduced hepatic steatosis in rats with NAFLD, induced by the MCD diet. DDC reduced the oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress-related parameters in mice with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, induced by the MCD diet. IHC for Bax and cleaved caspase-3 showed that DDC inhibited the apoptosis of hepatocytes in the liver. DDC significantly reduced ballooning and Mallory-Denk bodies (MDB) in hepatocytes, accompanied by suppression of serum alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and MDB formation-related genes. DDC significantly alleviated hepatic inflammation, accompanied by suppression of inflammation-related genes. DDC suppressed the infiltration of macrophages, particularly inducible NOS-positive pro-inflammatory macrophages. In addition, DDC significantly alleviated liver fibrosis. Microarray analyses showed that DDC strongly affected lipid metabolism and oxidative stress-related processes and pathways. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS:DDC improves hepatic steatosis, ballooning, inflammation and fibrosis in rodent models of NAFLD through modulating lipid metabolism and oxidative stress.
Project description:Lifestyle factors and chronic pathologic states are important contributors to interindividual variability in susceptibility to xenobiotic-induced toxicity. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an increasingly prevalent condition that can dramatically affect chemical metabolism. We examined the effect of NAFLD on toxicokinetics of tetrachloroethylene (PERC), a ubiquitous environmental contaminant that requires metabolic activation to induce adverse health effects. Mice (C57Bl/6J, male) were fed a low-fat diet (LFD), high-fat diet (HFD), or methionine/folate/choline-deficient diet (MCD) to model a healthy liver, steatosis, or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), respectively. After 8 weeks, mice were orally administered a single dose of PERC (300 mg/kg) or vehicle (aqueous Alkamuls-EL620) and euthanized at various time points (1-36 hours). Levels of PERC and its metabolites were measured in blood/serum, liver, and fat. Effects of diets on liver gene expression and tissue:air partition coefficients were evaluated. We found that hepatic levels of PERC were 6- and 7.6-fold higher in HFD- and MCD-fed mice compared with LFD-fed mice; this was associated with an increased PERC liver:blood partition coefficient. Liver and serum <i>C</i><sub>max</sub> for trichloroacetate (TCA) was lower in MCD-fed mice; however, hepatic clearance of TCA was profoundly reduced by HFD or MCD feeding, leading to TCA accumulation. Hepatic mRNA/protein expression and ex vivo activity assays revealed decreased xenobiotic metabolism in HFD- and MCD-, compared with LFD-fed, groups. In conclusion, experimental NAFLD was associated with modulation of xenobiotic disposition and metabolism and increased hepatic exposure to PERC and TCA. Underlying NAFLD may be an important susceptibility factor for PERC-associated hepatotoxicity.
Project description:Aliskiren has been found to reduce chronic injury and steatosis in the liver of methionine-choline-deficient (MCD) diet-fed mice. This study investigated whether aliskiren has an anti-steatotic effect in HFD-fed mice, which are more relevant to human patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease than MCD mice. Mice fed with 4-week normal chow or HFD randomly received aliskiren (50 mg/kg/day) or vehicle via osmotic minipumps for further 4 weeks. Aliskiren reduced systemic insulin resistance, hepatic steatosis, epididymal fat mass and increased gastrocnemius muscle glucose transporter type 4 levels with lower tissue angiotensin II levels in the HFD-fed mice. In addition, aliskiren lowered nuclear peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and its down-signaling molecules and increased cytochrome P450 4A14 and carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (CPT1a) in liver. In epididymal fat, aliskiren inhibited expressions of lipogenic genes, leading to decrease in fat mass, body weight, and serum levels of leptin and free fatty acid. Notably, in the gastrocnemius muscle, aliskiren increased phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate 1 and Akt. Based on these beneficial effects on liver, peripheral fat and skeletal muscle, aliskiren is a promising therapeutic agent for patients with NAFLD.
Project description:Obesity-induced adipose-tissue dysfunction is a critical contributor to the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). B cell-activating factor (BAFF) is an adipokine related to impaired insulin sensitivity, and the serum BAFF concentration is associated with NAFLD severity. In this study, we aimed to determine the direct in vivo role of BAFF in the development of insulin resistance, adipocyte dysfunction, and hepatic steatosis using BAFF-/- mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD). HFD-fed BAFF-/- mice exhibited significantly improved insulin sensitivity despite their increased weight gain and adiposity relative to HFD-fed wild-type mice. Moreover, inflammation, especially the accumulation of CD11c+ adipose-tissue macrophages, and fibrosis of epididymal adipose tissue were reduced, contributing to healthy adipose-tissue expansion in obese BAFF-/- mice. In line with metabolically healthy obesity, hepatic steatosis also decreased, and we observed attenuated de novo lipogenesis in both the livers and hepatocytes of BAFF-/- mice. Our data revealed that BAFF serves as a potential stimulator of unhealthy adipose-tissue expansion by triggering inflammation and fibrosis and ultimately leading to enhanced insulin resistance and NAFLD. Therefore, these results suggest that BAFF is a promising target for diabetes and NAFLD treatment.
Project description: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>Objective</h4>Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an important co-morbidity associated with obesity and a precursor to steatohepatitis. However, the contributions of gestational and early life influences on development of NAFLD and NASH remain poorly appreciated.<h4>Methods</h4>Two independent studies were performed to examine whether maternal over-nutrition via exposure to high fat diet (HFD) leads to exacerbated hepatic responses to post-natal HFD and methionine choline deficient (MCD) diets in the offspring. Offspring of both control diet- and HFD-fed dams were weaned onto control and HFD, creating four groups.<h4>Results</h4>When compared to their control diet-fed littermates, offspring of HF-dams weaned onto HFD gained greater body weight; had increased relative liver weight and showed hepatic steatosis and inflammation. Similarly, this group revealed significantly greater immune response and pro-fibrogenic gene expression via RNA-seq. In parallel, 7-8 week old offspring were challenged with either control or MCD diets for 3 weeks. Responses to MCD diets were also exacerbated due to maternal HFD as seen by gene expression of classical pro-fibrogenic genes. Quantitative genome-scale DNA methylation analysis of over 1 million CpGs showed persistent epigenetic changes in key genes in tissue development and metabolism (Fgf21, Ppargc1?) with maternal HFD and in cell adhesion and communication (VWF, Ephb2) in the combination of maternal HFD and offspring MCD diets. Maternal HFD also influenced gut microbiome profiles in offspring leading to a decrease in ?-diversity. Linear regression analysis revealed association between serum ALT levels and Coprococcus, Coriobacteriacae, Helicobacterioceae and Allobaculum.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our findings indicate that maternal HFD detrimentally alters epigenetic and gut microbiome pathways to favor development of fatty liver disease and its progressive sequelae.
Project description:<b>Background and Aims:</b> It's reported that bone morphogenetic protein 9 (BMP9) played an important role in lipid and glucose metabolism, but the role of BMP9 in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is unclear. Here, we evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of recombined BMP9 in NAFLD mice and investigated the potential mechanism. <b>Methods:</b> The effects of recombinant BMP9 on NAFLD were assessed in HFD-induced NAFLD mice. C57BL/6 mice were administrated with high-fat diet (HFD) for 12 weeks. In the last 4 weeks, mice were treated with PBS or recombined BMP9 once daily. Insulin sensitivity was evaluated by glucose tolerance test (GTT) and insulin tolerance test (ITT) at the end of the 12th week. Then NAFLD related indicators were assessed by a variety of biological methods, including histology, western blotting, real-time PCR, RNA-seq and assay for transposase-accessible chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-seq) analyses. <b>Results:</b> BMP9 reduced obesity, improved glucose metabolism, alleviated hepatic steatosis and decreased liver macrophages infiltration in HFD mice. RNA-seq showed that Cers6, Cidea, Fabp4 involved in lipid and glucose metabolism and Fos, Ccl2, Tlr1 involved in inflammatory response downregulated significantly after BMP9 treatment in HFD mouse liver. ATAC-seq showed that chromatin accessibility on promoters of Cers6, Fabp4, Ccl2 and Fos decreased after BMP9 treatment in HFD mouse liver. KEGG pathway analysis of dysregulated genes in RNA-seq and integration of RNA-seq and ATAC-seq showed that TNF signaling pathway and Toll-like receptor signaling pathway decreased in BMP9 treated HFD mouse liver. <b>Conclusion:</b> Our data revealed that BMP9 might alleviate NAFLD via improving glucose and lipid metabolism, decreasing inflammatory response and reshaping chromatin accessibility in HFD mouse liver. BMP9 downregulate genes related to lipid metabolism, glucose metabolism and inflammation expression, at least partially via decreasing promoter chromatin accessibility of Cers6, Fabp4, Fos and Tlr1. BMP9 may also reduce the expression of liver Ccl2, thereby changing the number or composition of liver macrophages, and ultimately reducing liver inflammation. The effect of BMP9 on NAFLD might be all-round, and not limit to lipid and glucose metabolism. Therefore, the underlying mechanism needs to be studied in detail further.