Adipocyte JAK2 mediates spontaneous metabolic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma.
ABSTRACT: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and steatohepatitis (NASH) are liver manifestations of the metabolic syndrome and can progress to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Loss of Growth Hormone (GH) signaling is reported to predispose to NAFLD and NASH through direct actions on the liver. Here, we report that aged mice lacking hepatocyte Jak2 (JAK2L), an obligate transducer of Growth Hormone (GH) signaling, spontaneously develop the full spectrum of phenotypes found in patients with metabolic liver disease, beginning with insulin resistance and lipodystrophy and manifesting as NAFLD, NASH and even HCC, independent of dietary intervention. Remarkably, insulin resistance, metabolic liver disease, and carcinogenesis are prevented in JAK2L mice via concomitant deletion of adipocyte Jak2 (JAK2LA). Further, we demonstrate that GH increases hepatic lipid burden but does so indirectly via signaling through adipocyte JAK2. Collectively, these data establish adipocytes as the mediator of GH-induced metabolic liver disease and carcinogenesis. In addition, we report a new spontaneous model of NAFLD, NASH, and HCC that recapitulates the natural sequelae of human insulin resistance-associated disease progression. The work presented here suggests a attention be paid towards inhibition of adipocyte GH signaling as a therapeutic target of metabolic liver disease.
Project description:For nearly 100 years, growth hormone (GH) has been known to affect insulin sensitivity and risk of diabetes. However, the tissue governing the effects of GH signaling on insulin and glucose homeostasis remains unknown. Excess GH reduces fat mass and insulin sensitivity. Conversely, GH insensitivity (GHI) is associated with increased adiposity, augmented insulin sensitivity, and protection from diabetes. Here, we induce adipocyte-specific GHI through conditional deletion of <i>Jak2</i> (JAK2A), an obligate transducer of GH signaling. Similar to whole-body GHI, JAK2A mice had increased adiposity and extreme insulin sensitivity. Loss of adipocyte <i>Jak2</i> augmented hepatic insulin sensitivity and conferred resistance to diet-induced metabolic stress without overt changes in circulating fatty acids. While GH injections induced hepatic insulin resistance in control mice, the diabetogenic action was absent in JAK2A mice. Adipocyte GH signaling directly impinged on both adipose and hepatic insulin signal transduction. Collectively, our results show that adipose tissue governs the effects of GH on insulin and glucose homeostasis. Further, we show that JAK2 mediates liver insulin sensitivity via an extrahepatic, adipose tissue-dependent mechanism.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which includes nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), is associated with reduced GH input/signaling, and GH therapy is effective in the reduction/resolution of NAFLD/NASH in selected patient populations. Our laboratory has focused on isolating the direct vs indirect effects of GH in preventing NAFLD/NASH. We reported that chow-fed, adult-onset, hepatocyte-specific, GH receptor knockdown (aHepGHRkd) mice rapidly (within 7 days) develop steatosis associated with increased hepatic de novo lipogenesis (DNL), independent of changes in systemic metabolic function. In this study, we report that 6 months after induction of aHepGHRkd early signs of NASH develop, which include hepatocyte ballooning, inflammation, signs of mild fibrosis, and elevated plasma alanine aminotransferase. These changes occur in the presence of enhanced systemic lipid utilization, without evidence of white adipose tissue lipolysis, indicating that the liver injury that develops after aHepGHRkd is due to hepatocyte-specific loss of GH signaling and not due to secondary defects in systemic metabolic function. Specifically, enhanced hepatic DNL is sustained with age in aHepGHRkd mice, associated with increased hepatic markers of lipid uptake/re-esterification. Because hepatic DNL is a hallmark of NAFLD/NASH, these studies suggest that enhancing hepatocyte GH signaling could represent an effective therapeutic target to reduce DNL and treat NASH.
Project description:The paradigm of chronic liver diseases has been shifting. Although hepatitis B and C viral infections are still the main causes of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the introduction of effective antiviral drugs may control or cure them in the near future. In contrast, the burden of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been increasing for decades, and 25 to 30% of the general population in Korea is estimated to have NAFLD. Over 10% of NAFLD patients may have nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a severe form of NAFLD. NASH can progress to cirrhosis and HCC. NASH is currently the second leading cause to be placed on the liver transplantation list in the United States. NAFLD is associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, and metabolic syndrome. The pathophysiology is complex and associated with lipotoxicity, inflammatory cytokines, apoptosis, and insulin resistance. The only proven effective treatment is weight reduction by diet and exercise. However, this may not be effective for advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis. Therefore, effective drugs are urgently needed for treating these conditions. Unfortunately, no drugs have been approved for the treatment of NASH. Many pharmaceutical companies are trying to develop new drugs for the treatment of NASH. Some of them are in phase 2 or 3 clinical trials. Here, pharmacologic therapies in clinical trials, as well as the basic principles of drug therapy, will be reviewed, focusing on pathophysiology.
Project description:Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most prevalent liver disease worldwide, and a major cause of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. NAFLD is intimately linked with other metabolic disorders characterized by insulin resistance. Metabolic diseases are driven by chronic inflammatory processes, in which macrophages perform essential roles. The polarization status of macrophages is itself influenced by metabolic stimuli such as fatty acids, which in turn affect the progression of metabolic dysfunction at multiple disease stages and in various tissues. For instance, adipose tissue macrophages respond to obesity, adipocyte stress and dietary factors by a specific metabolic and inflammatory programme that stimulates disease progression locally and in the liver. Kupffer cells and monocyte-derived macrophages represent ontologically distinct hepatic macrophage populations that perform a range of metabolic functions. These macrophages integrate signals from the gut-liver axis (related to dysbiosis, reduced intestinal barrier integrity, endotoxemia), from overnutrition, from systemic low-grade inflammation and from the local environment of a steatotic liver. This makes them central players in the progression of NAFLD to steatohepatitis (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH) and fibrosis. Moreover, the particular involvement of Kupffer cells in lipid metabolism, as well as the inflammatory activation of hepatic macrophages, may pathogenically link NAFLD/NASH and cardiovascular disease. In this review, we highlight the polarization, classification and function of macrophage subsets and their interaction with metabolic cues in the pathophysiology of obesity and NAFLD. Evidence from animal and clinical studies suggests that macrophage targeting may improve the course of NAFLD and related metabolic disorders.
Project description:The incidence of metabolic syndrome with fatty liver is spreading on a worldwide scale. Correspondingly, the number of patients with the hepatic phenotype of metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and in its advanced states, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and the subsequent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) derived from NASH (NASH-HCC) is increasing remarkably. A large-scale epidemiological study revealed that obesity can be a risk factor of such cancers as HCC. Moreover, despite the ongoing trends of declining cancer incidence and mortality for most cancer types, HCC has experienced a markedly increased rate of both. Considering the differences in liver-related mortality among NAFLD patients, NASH, and NASH-HCC should be included in the objectives of initiatives to manage NAFLD patients and their progression to the advanced stages. Unfortunately, research has yet to make a crucial drug discovery for the effective treatment of NASH and NASH-HCC, although it is urgently needed. The latest widespread concept of the "multiple parallel hits hypothesis," whereby multiple factors contribute concurrently to disease pathogenesis has led to advances in the elucidation of hepatic and systemic molecular mechanisms driving NASH and the subsequent NASH-HCC progression; the results are not only extensive but promising for therapeutics. Here, we have summarized the myriad landmark discoveries of recent research into the pathogenic processes underlying NASH-HCC development and with the greatest possibility for a new generation of pharmaceutical products for interference and treatment.
Project description:Disruption of hepatocyte growth hormone (GH) signaling through disruption of Jak2 (JAK2L) leads to fatty liver. Previously, we demonstrated that development of fatty liver depends on adipocyte GH signaling. We sought to determine the individual roles of hepatocyte and adipocyte Jak2 on whole-body and tissue insulin sensitivity and liver metabolism. On chow, JAK2L mice had hepatic steatosis and severe whole-body and hepatic insulin resistance. However, concomitant deletion of Jak2 in hepatocytes and adipocytes (JAK2LA) completely normalized insulin sensitivity while reducing liver lipid content. On high-fat diet, JAK2L mice had hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance despite protection from diet-induced obesity. JAK2LA mice had higher liver lipid content and no protection from obesity but retained exquisite hepatic insulin sensitivity. AKT activity was selectively attenuated in JAK2L adipose tissue, whereas hepatic insulin signaling remained intact despite profound hepatic insulin resistance. Therefore, JAK2 in adipose tissue is epistatic to liver with regard to insulin sensitivity and responsiveness, despite fatty liver and obesity. However, hepatocyte autonomous JAK2 signaling regulates liver lipid deposition under conditions of excess dietary fat. This work demonstrates how various tissues integrate JAK2 signals to regulate insulin/glucose and lipid metabolism.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), causes hepatic fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The patatin-like phospholipase-3 (PNPLA3) I148M sequence variant is one of the strongest genetic determinants of NAFLD/NASH. PNPLA3 is an independent risk factor for HCC among patients with NASH. The obesity epidemic is closely associated with the rising prevalence and severity of NAFLD/NASH. Furthermore, metabolic syndrome exacerbates the course of NAFLD/NASH. These factors are able to induce apoptosis and activate immune and inflammatory pathways, resulting in the development of hepatic fibrosis and NASH, leading to progression toward HCC. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), destruction of the intestinal mucosa barrier function and a high-fat diet all seem to exacerbate the development of hepatic fibrosis and NASH, leading to HCC in patients with NAFLD/NASH. Thus, the intestinal microbiota may play a role in the development of NAFLD/NASH. In this review, we describe recent advances in our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms contributing to the development of hepatic fibrosis and HCC in patients with NAFLD/NASH.
Project description:Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one the fastest emerging manifestations of the metabolic syndrome worldwide. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), the progressive form of NAFLD, may culminate into cirrhosis and hepatocellular cancer (HCC) and is presently a leading cause of liver transplant. Although a steady progress is seen in understanding of the disease epidemiology, pathogenesis and identifying therapeutic targets, the slowest advancement is seen in the therapeutic field. Currently, there is no FDA approved therapy for this disease and appropriate therapeutic targets are urgently warranted. In this review we discuss the role of lifestyle intervention, pharmacological agents, surgical approaches, and gut microbiome, with regard to therapy for NASH. In particular, we focus the role of insulin sensitizers, thyroid hormone mimetics, antioxidants, cholesterol lowering drugs, incretins and cytokines as therapeutic targets for NASH. We highlight these targets aiming to optimize the future for NASH therapy.
Project description:The prevalence and diagnosis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is on the rise worldwide and currently has no FDA-approved pharmacotherapy. The increase in disease burden of NAFLD and a more severe form of this progressive liver disease, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), largely mirrors the increase in obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) and reflects the hepatic manifestation of an altered metabolic state. Indeed, metabolic syndrome, defined as a constellation of obesity, insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia and hypertension, is the major risk factor predisposing the NAFLD and NASH. There are multiple potential pharmacologic strategies to rebalance aspects of disordered metabolism in NAFLD. These include therapies aimed at reducing hepatic steatosis by directly modulating lipid metabolism within the liver, inhibiting fructose metabolism, altering delivery of free fatty acids from the adipose to the liver by targeting insulin resistance and/or adipose metabolism, modulating glycemia, and altering pleiotropic metabolic pathways simultaneously. Emerging data from human genetics also supports a role for metabolic drivers in NAFLD and risk for progression to NASH. In this review, we highlight the prominent metabolic drivers of NAFLD pathogenesis and discuss the major metabolic targets of NASH pharmacotherapy.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) consists of the entire spectrum of fatty liver disease in patients without significant alcohol consumption, ranging from nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) to cirrhosis, with NASH recently shown as an important cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). There is a close relationship between insulin resistance (IR) and NAFLD, with a five-fold higher prevalence of NAFLD in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) compared to that in patients without T2DM. IR is involved in the progression of disease conditions such as steatosis and NASH, as well as hepatic fibrosis progression. The mechanisms underlying these processes involve genetic factors, hepatic fat accumulation, alterations in energy metabolism, and inflammatory signals derived from various cell types including immune cells. In NASH-associated fibrosis, the principal cell type responsible for extracellular matrix production is the hepatic stellate cell (HSC). HSC activation by IR involves "direct" and "indirect" pathways. This review will describe the molecular mechanisms of inflammation and hepatic fibrosis in IR, the relationship between T2DM and hepatic fibrosis, and the relationship between T2DM and HCC in patients with NAFLD.