Expression of neuropeptide Y is increased in an activated human HSC cell line.
ABSTRACT: Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is an abundant neuropeptide in the mammalian central and peripheral nervous systems. Transgenic mice overexpressing NPY in noradrenergic neurons have increased level of hepatic triglycerides, fatty acids and cholesterol, which contributed to the development of hepatosteatosis. However, the roles of NPY in the activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate the expression and secretion of NPY in human immortalized HSC LX-2 cells and the regulatory function of NPY on the fibrogenic response in LX-2 cells, to explore the potential association between NPY and LX-2 activation. The results showed an increase in the expression and secretion of NPY(1-36) in activated LX-2 cells. Both endogenous and exogenous NPY(1-36) induced the phosphorylation of mTOR, p70S6K, and 4EBP1 and promoted the fibrogenic response via NPY Y1 receptor subtype (NPY1R), as these responses were blocked by either an NPY1R antagonist (BIBP3226) or NPY1R knockdown. Moreover, NPY(1-36) serum levels were increased in patients with liver cirrhosis (LC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and presented a positive relationship with MELD scores in LC patients. These findings suggest that immortalized HSCs LX-2 have the potential to produce NPY(1-36). High serum levels of NPY(1-36) is correlated with hepatic dysfunction in cirrhotic patients.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The rs17618244 G>A ?-Klotho (KLB) variant has been associated with increased risk of ballooning and inflammation in pediatric patients with metabolic associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD), by reducing KLB expression. In hepatocytes, KLB downregulation induced fat accumulation and the expression of inflammatory and lipotoxic genes. We aimed to examine firstly the impact of the KLB rs17618244 variation on liver damage in adult patients with MAFLD and secondly its effect on hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) activation.<h4>Methods</h4>The impact of the KLB rs17618244 variant on histological liver damage was surveyed in a retrospective cohort of 1111 adult patients with MAFLD. Subgroup analysis was performed according to the presence of obesity (BMI>35; n = 708). Immortalized HSCs (LX-2) were transfected with the KLB wild type (LX-2_KLBwt), or with the mutant one carrying the rs17618244 (LX-2_KLBmut).<h4>Findings</h4>At ordinal regression analysis the KLB rs17618244 variant was associated with hepatic fibrosis (OR 1.23, 95% C.I.1.004-1.51; p = 0.04), but not with steatosis, inflammation and ballooning. By stratifying patients according to the presence of obesity, the KLB A allele was further associated with lobular inflammation (OR 1.32, 95% C.I.1.02-1.72; p = 0.03) and cirrhosis (OR 2.51, 95% C.I.1.23-5.05; p = 0.01) Moreover, hepatic KLB expression correlated with that of fibrogenic genes. LX-2_KLBmut cells showed reduced KLB protein levels paralleled by an induction of pro-fibrogenic genes and enhanced proliferative rate.<h4>Interpretation</h4>The KLB rs17618244 variant is associated with hepatic fibrosis, inflammation and cirrhosis mainly in obese patients with MAFLD and HSCs which carry this mutation are highly proliferative and acquire a myofibroblast-like phenotype.<h4>Funding</h4>Ricerca Finalizzata Ministero della Salute GR-2019-12,370,172 (NP), Ricerca Corrente Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda (PD and ALF), Ricerca Finalizzata Ministero della Salute RF-2013-02,358,319 (ALF), and Ricerca Corrente and 5 × 1000 Ministero della Salute (AA).
Project description:Apoptosis-stimulating protein of p53-2 (ASPP2) is a damage-inducible P53-binding protein that enhances damage-induced apoptosis. Fibrosis is a wound-healing response, and hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) are key players in liver fibrogenesis. However, little is known about the relationship between ASPP2 and hepatic fibrosis.We investigated the effects of ASPP2 overexpression in HSCs and the role of ASPP2 in mouse liver fibrogenesis.Human HSCs (LX-2 cells) were pre-incubated with GFP adenovirus (Ad) or ASPP2 adenovirus (AdASPP2) for 24 h and then treated with or without TGF-?1. ASPP2+/- and ASPP2+/+ Balb/c mice were used to examine the effects of ASPP2 on liver fibrosis in vivo. ASPP2+/+ Balb/c mice were generated by injecting AdASPP2 into the tail vein of ASPP2 WT Balb/c mice; all mice received intraperitoneal injections of carbon tetrachloride.In this study, ASPP2 was found to markedly inhibit TGF-?1-induced fibrogenic activation of LX-2 cells. Further experiments using an autophagic flux assay confirmed that ASPP2 reduced the fibrogenic activation of LX-2 cells by inhibiting autophagy. Moreover, we found that ASPP2 overexpression attenuated the anti-apoptotic effects of TGF-?1 in LX-2 cells. The extent of liver fibrosis was markedly reduced in ASPP2+/+ mouse liver tissue compared with control mice; however, in ASPP2+/- mice, hepatic collagen deposition was significantly increased.These results suggest that TGF-?1-induced autophagy is required for the fibrogenic response in LX-2 cells and that ASPP2 may both inhibit TGF-?1-induced autophagy and decrease liver fibrosis.
Project description:The pivotal role of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) in orchestrating the bidirectional process of progression and regression of liver fibrosis makes them an ideal target for exploring new antifibrotic therapies. Essential phospholipids (EPLs), with their polyenylphosphatidylcholine (PPC) fraction, either alone or combined with other hepatoprotective substances such as silymarin, are recommended in hepatic impairment, but a scientific rationale for their use is still lacking. Herein, we compared the ability of EPLs to restore quiescent-like features in HSCs with that of dilinoleoylphosphatidylcholine (DLPC), PPC fraction's main component. Specifically, we screened at the cellular level the antifibrotic effects of PPC formulations in the presence and absence of silymarin, by using LX-2 cells (pro-fibrogenic HSCs) and by assessing the main biochemical hallmarks of the activated and deactivated states of this cell line. We also proved the formulations' direct effect on the motional order of cell membranes of adherent cells. LX-2 cells, examined for lipid droplets as a quiescence marker, showed that PPCs led to a more prominent deactivation than DLPC. This result was confirmed by a reduction of collagen and ?-SMA expression, and by a profound alteration in the cell membrane fluidity. PPC-silymarin formulations deactivated HSCs with a significant synergistic effect. The remarkable bioactivity of PPCs in deactivating fibrogenic HSCs paves the way for the rational design of new therapeutics aimed at managing hepatic fibrosis.
Project description:Several studies have shown that neuropeptide Y (NPY) is considered to be one of the key regulators of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in the mammals. Also, kisspeptin is a powerful upstream regulator of gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons in the hypothalamus. The present study aims to investigate the effects of the intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of NPY and BIBP3226 (NPY receptor antagonist) on the reproductive axis (either hormonal or behavioral) of the male rats. Furthermore, to see whether NPY signals can be relayed through the pathway of KiSS1/GPR54, the gene expression of these peptides in the arcuate nucleus was measured. The ICV injection of NPY decreased the latencies and increased the frequencies of sexual parameters of the male rats in a significant way. Results obtained from LH and testosterone measurement showed that NPY had a significant increase in comparison with the control group. In this line, BIBP3226 antagonized the stimulative effects of NPY. Furthermore, data from real-time quantitative PCR showed that injection of NPY significantly increased the gene expression of KiSS1 and GPR54, while treatment with BIBP3226 controlled the stimulative effects of NPY on gene expression of KiSS1 and GPR54. Summing up, NPY can exert its impacts on the reproductive axis, this occurs at least partly through affecting KiSS1/GPR54 system.
Project description:Neuropeptide Y (NPY) signaling via limbic NPY1 and 2 receptors (NPY1R and NPY2R, respectively) is known to modulate binge-like ethanol consumption in rodents. However, the role of NPY signaling in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), which provides top-down modulation of the limbic system, is unknown. Here, we used "drinking-in-the-dark" (DID) procedures in C57BL/6J mice to address this gap in the literature. First, the impact of DID on NPY immunoreactivity (IR) was assessed in the mPFC. Next, the role of NPY1R and NPY2R signaling in the mPFC on ethanol consumption was evaluated through site-directed pharmacology. Chemogenetic inhibition of NPY1R+ neurons in the mPFC was performed to further evaluate the role of this population. To determine the potential role of NPY1R+ neurons projecting from the mPFC to the basolateral amygdala (BLA) this efferent population was selectively silenced. Three, 4-day cycles of DID reduced NPY IR in the mPFC. Intra-mPFC activation of NPY1R and antagonism of NPY2R resulted in decreased binge-like ethanol intake. Silencing of mPFC NPY1R+ neurons overall, and specifically NPY1R+ neurons projecting to the BLA, significantly reduced binge-like ethanol intake. We provide novel evidence that (1) binge-like ethanol intake reduces NPY levels in the mPFC; (2) activation of NPY1R or blockade of NPY2R reduces binge-like ethanol intake; and (3) chemogenetic inhibition of NPY1R+ neurons in the mPFC and NPY1R+ mPFC neurons projecting to the BLA blunts binge-like drinking. These observations provide the first direct evidence that NPY signaling in the mPFC modulates binge-like ethanol consumption.
Project description:Neuropeptide Y (NPY) plays an important role in stress, anxiety, obesity, and energy homeostasis via activation of NPY-Y1 receptors (Y1Rs) in the brain. However, global knockout of the Npy1r gene has low or no impact on anxiety and body weight. To uncover the role of limbic Y1Rs, we generated conditional knockout mice in which the inactivation of the Npy1r gene was restricted to excitatory neurons of the forebrain, starting from juvenile stages (Npy1r(rfb)). Npy1r(rfb) mice exhibited increased anxiety and reduced body weight, less adipose tissue, and lower serum leptin levels. Npy1r(rfb) mutants also had a hyperactive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis, as indicated by higher peripheral corticosterone and higher density of NPY immunoreactive fibers and corticotropin releasing hormone immunoreactive cell bodies in the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus. Importantly, through fostering experiments, we determined that differences in phenotype between Npy1r(rfb) and Npy1r(2lox) mice became apparent when both genotypes were raised by FVB/J but not by C57BL/6J dams, suggesting that limbic Y1Rs are key targets of maternal care-induced programming of anxiety and energy homeostasis.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Previously, we reported that Korean Red Ginseng inhibited liver fibrosis in mice and reduced the expressions of fibrogenic genes in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). The present study was undertaken to identify the major ginsenoside responsible for reducing the numbers of HSCs and the underlying mechanism involved.<h4>Methods</h4>Using LX-2 cells (a human immortalized HSC line) and primary activated HSCs, MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide) assays were conducted to examine the cytotoxic effects of ginsenosides. H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub> productions, glutathione contents, lactate dehydrogenase activities, mitochondrial membrane permeabilities, apoptotic cell subpopulations, caspase-3/-7 activities, transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining, and immunoblot analysis were performed to elucidate the molecular mechanism responsible for ginsenoside-mediated cytotoxicity. Involvement of the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-related signaling pathway was examined using a chemical inhibitor and small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection.<h4>Results and conclusion</h4>Of the 11 ginsenosides tested, 20<i>S</i>-protopanaxadiol (PPD) showed the most potent cytotoxic activity in both LX-2 cells and primary activated HSCs. Oxidative stress-mediated apoptosis induced by 20<i>S</i>-PPD was blocked by <i>N</i>-acetyl-l-cysteine pretreatment. In addition, 20<i>S</i>-PPD concentration-dependently increased the phosphorylation of AMPK, and compound C prevented 20<i>S</i>-PPD-induced cytotoxicity and mitochondrial dysfunction. Moreover, 20<i>S</i>-PPD increased the phosphorylation of liver kinase B1 (LKB1), an upstream kinase of AMPK. Likewise, transfection of LX-2 cells with LKB1 siRNA reduced the cytotoxic effect of 20<i>S</i>-PPD. Thus, 20<i>S</i>-PPD appears to induce HSC apoptosis by activating LKB1-AMPK and to be a therapeutic candidate for the prevention or treatment of liver fibrosis.
Project description:Anxious temperament (AT) is identifiable early in life and predicts the later development of anxiety disorders and depression. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a putative endogenous anxiolytic neurotransmitter that adaptively regulates responses to stress and might confer resilience to stress-related psychopathology. With a well-validated nonhuman primate model of AT, we examined expression of the NPY system in the central nucleus (Ce) of the amygdala, a critical neural substrate for extreme anxiety.In 24 young rhesus monkeys, we measured Ce messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of all members of the NPY system that are detectable in the Ce with quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction. We then examined the relationship between these mRNA levels and both AT expression and brain metabolism.Lower mRNA levels of neuropeptide Y receptor 1 (NPY1R) and NPY5R but not NPY or NPY2R in the Ce predicted elevated AT; mRNA levels for NPY1R and NPY5R in the motor cortex were not related to AT. In situ hybridization analysis provided for the first time a detailed description of NPY1R and NPY5R mRNA distribution in the rhesus amygdala and associated regions. Lastly, mRNA levels for these two receptors in the Ce predicted metabolic activity in several regions that have the capacity to regulate the Ce.Decreased NPY signaling in the Ce might contribute to the altered metabolic activity that is a component of the neural substrate underlying AT. This suggests that enhancement of NPY signaling might reduce the risk to develop psychopathology.
Project description:Inflammation has an important role in the development of liver fibrosis in general and the activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) in particular. It is known that HSCs are themselves able to produce cytokines and chemokines, and that this production may be a key event in the initiation of fibrogenesis. However, the direct involvement of cytokines and chemokines in HSC (self-)activation remains uncertain. In this study, the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1? and ?, TNF-?, and IL-8 on the activation state of HSCs were examined, in comparison to the pro-fibrogenic mediator TGF-?1. LX-2 cells were stimulated for 24 or 48 hours with recombinant human form of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1? and ?, TNF-?, and IL-8, and also the pro-fibrogenic mediator TGF-?1. Two drugs were also evaluated, the anti-TNF-? monoclonal antibody infliximab and the IL-1 receptor antagonist anakinra, regarding their inhibitory effects. In LX-2 human HSC, treatment with TGF-?1 are associated with downregulation of the metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and MMP-3, with upregulation of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1, collagen type I ?1, collagen type IV ?1, ?-SMA, endothelin-1 and PDGF-BB. Cytokines and chemokines expression were found to be downregulated, excepting IL-6. In contrast, we observed that LX-2 exposure to IL-1, TNF-? and IL-8 can reverse the phenotype of pro-fibrogenic activated cells. Indeed, MMP-1, MMP-3 and MMP-9 were found elevated, associated with downregulation of ?-SMA and/or PDGF-BB, and a greater expression of IL-1?, IL-6, IL-8, CXCL1 and CCL2. Lastly, we found that infliximab and anakinra successfully inhibits effects of TNF-? and IL-1 respectively in LX-2 cells. Infliximab and anakinra may be of value in preclinical trials in chronic liver disease. Overall, our results suggest that (i) pro-inflammatory mediators exert complex effects in HSCs via an MMP/TIMP imbalance, and (ii) targeting IL-1 signaling may be a potentially valuable therapeutic strategy in chronic liver diseases.
Project description:Obesity increases sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) via activation of proopiomelanocortin neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ArcN), and this action requires simultaneous withdrawal of tonic neuropeptide Y (NPY) sympathoinhibition. However, the sites and neurocircuitry by which NPY decreases SNA are unclear. Here, using designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADDs) to selectively activate or inhibit ArcN NPY neurons expressing agouti-related peptide (AgRP) in mice, we have demonstrated that this neuronal population tonically suppresses splanchnic SNA (SSNA), arterial pressure, and heart rate via projections to the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH). First, we found that ArcN NPY/AgRP fibers closely appose PVN and DMH presympathetic neurons. Second, nanoinjections of NPY or an NPY receptor Y1 (NPY1R) antagonist into PVN or DMH decreased or increased SSNA, respectively. Third, blockade of DMH NPY1R reversed the sympathoinhibition elicited by selective, DREADD-mediated activation of ArcN NPY/AgRP neurons. Finally, stimulation of ArcN NPY/AgRP terminal fields in the PVN and DMH decreased SSNA. Considering that chronic obesity decreases ArcN NPY content, we propose that the ArcN NPY neuropathway to the PVN and DMH is pivotal in obesity-induced elevations in SNA.