Activation of Pregnane X Receptor Sensitizes Mice to Hemorrhagic Shock-Induced Liver Injury.
ABSTRACT: Hemorrhagic shock (HS) is a life-threatening condition associated with tissue hypoperfusion and often leads to injury of multiple organs including the liver. Pregnane X receptor (PXR) is a species-specific xenobiotic receptor that regulates the expression of drug-metabolizing enzymes (DMEs) such as the cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A. Many clinical drugs, including those often prescribed to trauma patients, are known to activate PXR and induce CYP3A. The goal of this study is to determine whether PXR plays a role in the regulation of DMEs in the setting of HS and whether activation of PXR is beneficial or detrimental to HS-induced hepatic injury. PXR transgenic, knockout, and humanized mice were subject to HS, and the liver injury was assessed histologically and biochemically. The expression and/or activity of PXR and CYP3A were manipulated genetically or pharmacologically in order to determine their effects on HS-induced liver injury. Our results showed that genetic or pharmacological activation of PXR sensitized wild-type and hPXR/CYP3A4 humanized mice to HS-induced hepatic injury, whereas knockout of PXR protected mice from HS-induced liver injury. Mechanistically, the sensitizing effect of PXR activation was accounted for by PXR-responsive induction of CYP3A and increased oxidative stress in the liver. The sensitizing effect of PXR was attenuated by ablation or pharmacological inhibition of CYP3A, treatment with the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine amide, or treatment with a PXR antagonist. Conclusion: We have uncovered a function of PXR in HS-induced hepatic injury. Our results suggest that the unavoidable use of PXR-activating drugs in trauma patients has the potential to exacerbate HS-induced hepatic injury, which can be mitigated by the coadministration of antioxidative agents, CYP3A inhibitors, or PXR antagonists.
Project description:The nuclear receptor pregnane X receptor (PXR) is a well-characterized hepatic xenobiotic sensor whose activation by chemically diverse compounds results in the induction of drug clearance pathways that rid the body of potentially toxic substances, thus conferring protection from foreign chemicals and endobiotics.PXR activities are implicated in drug-drug interactions and endocrine disruption. Recent evidence supports a hepatoprotective role for PXR in chronic liver injury, inhibiting liver inflammation through suppression of the NF-?B pathway. However, PXR-mediated induction of CYP3A enhances APAP-induced acute liver injury by generating toxic metabolites. While these observations implicate PXR as a therapeutic target for liver injury, they also caution against PXR activation by pharmaceutical drugs.While evidence of PXR involvement in acute and chronic liver injuries identifies it as a possible therapeutic target, it raises additional concerns for all drug candidates. The in vitro and in vivo tests for human PXR activation should be incorporated into the FDA regulations for therapeutic drug approval to identify potential liver toxicities. In addition, PXR pharmacogenetic studies will facilitate the prediction of patient-specific drug reactivities and associated liver disorders.
Project description:Rifaximin, a nonsystemic antibiotic that exhibits low gastrointestinal absorption, is a potent agonist of human pregnane X receptor (PXR), which contributes to its therapeutic efficacy in inflammatory bowel disease. To investigate the effects of long-term administration of rifaximin on the liver, PXR-humanized mice were administered rifaximin for 6 months; wild-type and Pxr-null mice were treated in parallel as controls. Histological analysis revealed time-dependent intense hepatocellular fatty degeneration and increased hepatic triglycerides in PXR-humanized mice and not in wild-type and Pxr-null mice. After long-term treatment, PXR target genes were induced in small intestine and liver, with significant up-regulation in the expression of hepatic genes related to triglyceride synthesis and lipid accumulation. However, no significant hepatic accumulation of rifaximin was found, even after 6 months of treatment, in PXR-humanized mice. Genes in the small intestine that are involved in the uptake of fatty acids and triglycerides were induced along with increased triglyceride accumulation in intestinal epithelial cells of PXR-humanized mice; this was not observed in wild-type and Pxr-null mice. These findings suggest that long-term administration of rifaximin could lead to PXR-dependent hepatocellular fatty degeneration as a result of activation of genes involved in lipid uptake, thus indicating a potential adverse effect of rifaximin on liver function after long-term exposure.
Project description:Nonylphenol (NP), a by-product of alkylphenol ethoxylates, is a pervasive surfactant that activates the xenosensing nuclear receptor, the pregnane X-receptor (PXR) in transactivation assays in vitro. We are interested in determining if NP activates PXR in vivo, determining if hPXR and mPXR act similarly, and investigating the role of PXR in protecting individuals from NP. Wild-type (WT), PXR-null, and humanized PXR (hPXR) mice were treated with NP at 0, 50 or 75mg/kg/day for one week, and cytochrome P450 (CYP) induction, liver histopathology, and serum NP concentrations were examined. WT mice treated with NP showed induction of Cyp2b, and male-specific induction of Cyp2c and Cyp3a. CYPs were not induced in PXR-null mice, demonstrating that PXR is necessary for NP-mediated CYP induction. CAR-mediated CYP induction was not observed in the PXR-null mice despite previous data demonstrating that NP is also a CAR activator. hPXR mice only showed moderate Cyp induction, suggesting that hPXR is not as sensitive to NP as mPXR in vivo. NP-mediated Cyp3a induction from three human hepatocyte donors was not significant, confirming that hPXR is not very sensitive to NP-mediated CYP induction. Lastly, mice with PXR (mPXR and hPXR) showed lower NP serum concentrations than PXR-null mice treated with NP suggesting that PXR plays a role in decreasing liver toxicity by basally regulating phase I-III detoxification enzymes that promote the metabolism and elimination of NP. In summary, PXR is required for NP-mediated CYP-induction, mPXR mediates greater CYP induction than hPXR in vivo, and the presence of PXR, especially mPXR, is associated with altered histopathology and increased clearance of NP.
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:Pharmacological activities of drugs are impaired during inflammation because of reduced expression of hepatic drug-metabolizing enzyme genes (DMEs) and their regulatory nuclear receptors (NRs): pregnane X receptor (PXR), constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), and retinoid X receptor (RXR?). We have shown that a component of Gram-positive bacteria, lipoteichoic acid (LTA) induces proinflammatory cytokines and reduces gene expression of hepatic DMEs and NRs. LTA is a Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) ligand, which initiates signaling by recruitment of Toll-interleukin 1 receptor domain-containing adaptor protein (TIRAP) to the cytoplasmic TIR domain of TLR2. To determine the role of TIRAP in TLR2-mediated regulation of DME genes, TLR2(+/+), TLR2(-/-), TIRAP(+/+), and TIRAP(-/-) mice were given LTA injections. RNA levels of the DMEs (Cyp3a11, Cyp2b10, and sulfoaminotransferase), xenobiotic NRs (PXR and CAR), and nuclear protein levels of the central NR RXR? were reduced ? 50 to 60% in LTA-treated TLR2(+/+) but not in TLR2(-/-) mice. Induction of hepatic cytokines (interleukin-1?, tumor necrosis factor-?, and interleukin-6), c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase, and nuclear factor-?? was blocked in TLR2(-/-) mice. As expected, expression of hepatic DMEs and NRs was reduced by LTA in TIRAP(+/+) but not in TIRAP(-/-) mice. Of interest, cytokine RNA levels were induced in the livers of both the TIRAP(+/+) and TIRAP(-/-) mice, whereas LTA-mediated induction of serum cytokines was attenuated in TIRAP(-/-) mice. LTA-mediated down-regulation of DME genes was attenuated in hepatocytes from TLR2(-/-) or TIRAP(-/-) mice and in small interfering RNA-treated hepatocytes. Thus, the effect of TLR2 on DME genes in hepatocytes was mediated by TIRAP, whereas TIRAP was not involved in mediating the effects of TLR2 on cytokine expression in the liver.
Project description:Impairment of drug disposition in the liver during inflammation has been attributed to downregulation of gene expression of drug-metabolizing enzymes (DMEs) and drug transporters. Inflammatory responses in the liver are primarily mediated by Toll-like receptors (TLRs). We have recently shown that activation of TLR2 or TLR4 by lipoteichoic acid (LTA) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), respectively, leads to the downregulation of gene expression of DMEs/transporters. However, the molecular mechanism underlying this downregulation is not fully understood. The xenobiotic nuclear receptors, pregnane X receptor (PXR) and constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), regulate the expression of DMEs/transporter genes. Downregulation of DMEs/transporters by LTA or LPS was associated with reduced expression of PXR and CAR genes. To determine the role of CAR, we injected CAR(+/+) and CAR(-/-) mice with LTA or LPS, which significantly downregulated (~40%-60%) RNA levels of the DMEs, cytochrome P450 (Cyp)3a11, Cyp2a4, Cyp2b10, uridine diphosphate glucuronosyltransferase 1a1, amine N-sulfotransferase, and the transporter, multidrug resistance-associated protein 2, in CAR(+/+) mice. Suppression of most of these genes was attenuated in LTA-treated CAR(-/-) mice. In contrast, LPS-mediated downregulation of these genes was not attenuated in CAR(-/-) mice. Induction of these genes by mouse CAR activator 1,4-bis-[2-(3,5-dichloropyridyloxy)]benzene was sustained in LTA- but not in LPS-treated mice. Similar observations were obtained in humanized CAR mice. We have replicated these results in primary hepatocytes as well. Thus, LPS can downregulate DME/transporter genes in the absence of CAR, whereas the effect of LTA on these genes is attenuated in the absence of CAR, indicating the potential involvement of CAR in LTA-mediated downregulation of DME/transporter genes.
Project description:Recent studies indicate a role for the constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), pregnane X-receptor (PXR), and hepatic xenobiotic detoxifying CYPs in fatty liver disease or obesity. Therefore, we examined whether Cyp3a-null mice show increased obesity and fatty liver disease following 8-weeks of exposure to a 60% high-fat diet (HFD). Surprisingly, HFD-fed Cyp3a-null females fed a HFD gained 50% less weight than wild-type (WT; B6) females fed a HFD. In contrast, Cyp3a-null males gained more weight than WT males, primarily during the first few weeks of HFD-treatment. Cyp3a-null females also recovered faster than WT females from a glucose tolerance test; males showed no difference in glucose tolerance between the groups. Serum concentrations of the anti-obesity hormone, adiponectin are 60% higher and ?-hydroxybutyrate levels are nearly 50% lower in Cyp3a-null females than WT females, in agreement with reduced weight gain, faster glucose response, and reduced ketogenesis. In contrast, Cyp3a-null males have higher liver triglyceride concentrations and lipidomic analysis indicates an increase in phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylserine and sphingomyelin. None of these changes were observed in females. Last, Pxr, Cyp2b, and IL-6 expression increased in Cyp3a-null females following HFD-treatment. Cyp2b and Fatp1 increased, while Pxr, Cpt1a, Srebp1 and Fasn decreased in Cyp3a-null males following a HFD, indicating compensatory biochemical responses in male (and to a lesser extent) female mice fed a HFD. In conclusion, lack of Cyp3a has a positive effect on acclimation to a HFD in females as it improves weight gain, glucose response and ketosis.
Project description:Co-therapy with rifampicin (RIF) and isoniazid (INH) used to treat tuberculosis in humans frequently causes liver injury. Here, using a pregnane X receptor (PXR)-humanized mouse model, we found that co-treatment with RIF and INH causes accumulation of the endogenous hepatotoxin protoporphyrin IX in the liver through PXR-mediated alteration of the heme biosynthesis pathway. These results provide insight into the mechanism of liver injury induced by co-treatment with these compounds and may lead to their safer use in the clinic.
Project description:Killifish survive and reproduce in the New Bedford Harbor (NBH) in Massachusetts (MA), USA, a site severely contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) for decades. Levels of 22 different PCB congeners were analyzed in liver from killifish collected in 2008. Concentrations of dioxin-like PCBs in liver of NBH killifish were ?400 times higher, and the levels of non-dioxin-like PCBs ?3000 times higher than in killifish from a reference site, Scorton Creek (SC), MA. The NBH killifish are known to be resistant to the toxicity of dioxin-like compounds and to have a reduced aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) signaling response. Little is known about the responses of these fish to non-dioxin-like PCBs, which are at extraordinarily high levels in NBH fish. In mammals, some non-dioxin-like PCB congeners act through nuclear receptor 1I2, the pregnane-X-receptor (PXR). To explore this pathway in killifish, a PXR cDNA was sequenced and its molecular phylogenetic relationship to other vertebrate PXRs was determined. Killifish were also collected in 2009 from NBH and SC, and after four months in the laboratory they were injected with a single dose of either the dioxin-like PCB 126 (an AhR agonist) or the non-dioxin-like PCB 153 (a mammalian PXR agonist). Gills and liver were sampled three days after injection and transcript levels of genes encoding PXR, cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A), P-glycoprotein (Pgp), AhR2 and cytochrome P450 1A (CYP1A) were measured by quantitative PCR. As expected, there was little effect of PCB exposure on mRNA expression of AhR2 or CYP1A in liver and gills of NBH fish. In NBH fish, but not in SC fish, there was increased mRNA expression of hepatic PXR, CYP3A and Pgp upon exposure to either of the two PCB congeners. However, basal PXR and Pgp mRNA levels in liver of NBH fish were significantly lower than in SC fish. A different pattern was seen in gills, where there were no differences in basal mRNA expression of these genes between the two populations. In SC fish, but not in NBH fish, there was increased mRNA expression of branchial PXR and CYP3A upon exposure to PCB126 and of CYP3A upon exposure to PCB153. The results suggest a difference between the two populations in non-AhR transcription factor signaling in liver and gills, and that this could involve killifish PXR. It also implies possible cross-regulatory interactions between that factor (presumably PXR) and AhR2 in liver of these fish.
Project description:In humanized UDP glucuronosyltransferase-1 (hUGT1) mice that express the entire UGT1 locus, the maternal hepatic UGT1A genes are dramatically induced 12-14 days after conception. Steroid induction of the UGT1A1 gene indicates that xenobiotic sensors, such as the pregnane X receptor (PXR) and constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), may underlie the induction process. In contrast, neonatal hUGT1 mice display severe hyperbilirubinemia, with limited expression of the UGT1A genes. This study identifies PXR as both a positive and negative regulator of the UGT1A1 gene. Pregnancy hormones, in particular the glucocorticoids, target PXR as a positive regulator of human glucuronidation. Employing reverse genetics, where PXR has been genetically deleted, hUGT1/Pxr(-/-) mice show limited induction of the liver UGT1A genes during pregnancy, whereas the exact opposite occurs in newborn mice. Neonatal hUGT1 mice show delayed expression of hepatic UGT1A1 and are severely hyperbilirubinemic. However, in hUGT1/Pxr(-/-) mice, hyperbilirubinemia is greatly reduced due to induction of hepatic UGT1A1. Thus, PXR serves to repress UGT1A1 gene expression during development. Transcriptional silencing of the UGT1A1 gene was relieved in neonatal hUGT1 hepatocytes through interruption of PXR by small interfering RNA.PXR is a key regulator of pregnancy induced glucuronidation capacity in addition to modulating the severity of neonatal jaundice.