MicroRNA-29a Suppresses CD36 to Ameliorate High Fat Diet-Induced Steatohepatitis and Liver Fibrosis in Mice.
ABSTRACT: MicroRNA-29 (miR-29) has been shown to play a critical role in reducing inflammation and fibrosis following liver injury. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) occurs when fat is deposited (steatosis) in the liver due to causes other than excessive alcohol use and is associated with liver fibrosis. In this study, we asked whether miR-29a could reduce experimental high fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity and liver fibrosis in mice. We performed systematical expression analyses of miR-29a transgenic mice (miR-29aTg mice) and wild-type littermates subjected to HFD-induced NAFLD. The results demonstrated that increased miR-29a not only alleviated HFD-induced body weight gain but also subcutaneous, visceral, and intestinal fat accumulation and hepatocellular steatosis in mice. Furthermore, hepatic tissue in the miR-29aTg mice displayed a weak fibrotic matrix concomitant with low fibrotic collagen1?1 expression within the affected tissues compared to the wild-type (WT) mice fed the HFD diet. Increased miR-29a signaling also resulted in the downregulation of expression of the epithelial mesenchymal transition-executing transcription factor snail, mesenchymal markers vimentin, and such pro-inflammation markers as il6 and mcp1 within the liver tissue. Meanwhile, miR-29aTg-HFD mice exhibited significantly lower levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? (PPAR?), mitochondrial transcription factor A TFAM, and mitochondria DNA content in the liver than the WT-HFD mice. An in vitro luciferase reporter assay further confirmed that miR-29a mimic transfection reduced fatty acid translocase CD36 expression in HepG2 cells. Conclusion: Our data provide new insights that miR-29a can improve HDF-induced obesity, hepatocellular steatosis, and fibrosis, as well as highlight the role of miR-29a in regulation of NAFLD.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) represents a spectrum of diseases ranging from simple steatosis to more severe forms of liver injury including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In humans, only 20%-40% of patients with fatty liver progress to NASH, and mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) develop fatty liver but are resistant to NASH development. To understand how simple steatosis progresses to NASH, we examined hepatic expression of anti-inflammatory microRNA-223 (miR-223) and found that this miRNA was highly elevated in hepatocytes in HFD-fed mice and in human NASH samples. Genetic deletion of miR-223 induced a full spectrum of NAFLD in long-term HFD-fed mice including steatosis, inflammation, fibrosis, and HCC. Furthermore, microarray analyses revealed that, compared to wild-type mice, HFD-fed miR-223 knockout (miR-223KO) mice had greater hepatic expression of many inflammatory genes and cancer-related genes, including (C-X-C motif) chemokine 10 (Cxcl10) and transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif (Taz), two well-known factors that promote NASH development. In vitro experiments demonstrated that Cxcl10 and Taz are two downstream targets of miR-223 and that overexpression of miR-223 reduced their expression in cultured hepatocytes. Hepatic levels of miR-223, CXCL10, and TAZ mRNA were elevated in human NASH samples, which positively correlated with hepatic levels of several miR-223 targeted genes as well as several proinflammatory, cancer-related, and fibrogenic genes. Conclusion: HFD-fed miR-223KO mice develop a full spectrum of NAFLD, representing a clinically relevant mouse NAFLD model; miR-223 plays a key role in controlling steatosis-to-NASH progression by inhibiting hepatic Cxcl10 and Taz expression and may be a therapeutic target for the treatment of NASH.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) involves development of hepatic steatosis, fibrosis, and steatohepatitis. Because hepatic steatosis appears first in NAFLD animal models, the current therapy development focuses on inhibition of hepatic steatosis, suggesting that further steps of NAFLD will be also inhibited. In this report, we show that the first event of NAFLD is liver proliferation, which drives fibrosis in NAFLD. We have deleted a strong driver of liver proliferation, gankyrin (Gank), and examined development of NAFLD in this animal model under conditions of a high-fat diet (HFD). We found that proliferating livers of wild-type mice develop fibrosis; however, livers of Gank liver-specific knockout (GLKO) mice with reduced proliferation show no fibrosis. Interestingly, an HFD causes the development of strong macrovesicular steatosis in GLKO mice and is surprisingly associated with improvements in animal health. We observed that key regulators of liver biology CCAAT/enhancer binding protein α (C/EBPα), hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α), p53, and CUG repeat binding protein 1 (CUGBP1) are elevated due to the deletion of Gank and that these proteins support liver functions leading to healthy conditions in GLKO mice under an HFD. To examine the role of one of these proteins in the protection of liver from fibrosis, we used CUGBP1-S302A knockin mice, which have a reduction of CUGBP1 due to increased degradation of this mutant by Gank. These studies show that reduction of CUGBP1 inhibits steatosis and facilitates liver proliferation, leading to fibrosis and the development of liver tumors. Conclusion: Liver proliferation drives fibrosis, while steatosis might play a protective role. Therapy for NAFLD should include inhibition of proliferation rather than inhibition of steatosis.
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:BACKGROUND:Metabolic syndrome contributing to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can lead to hepatic dysfunction, steatohepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. AIMS:In this study, we tested whether diet-induced fatty liver in a mouse model physiologically mimicked human NAFLD, and whether transcriptional alterations in mouse fatty liver signified risk for the development of hepatitis, cirrhosis, and/or hepatocellular carcinoma. METHODS:SAMP6 strain mice were fed a low-fat diet or high-fat diet (HFD) for 6 months. Mouse livers were isolated and subjected to histology, immunohistochemistry, and whole transcriptome RNA sequencing. Sequences were aligned to the mouse reference genome, and gene expression signatures were analyzed using bioinformatics tools including Cufflinks, Pathview, Cytoscape, ClueGO, and GOstats. RESULTS:Consistent with NAFLD, livers from HFD-fed mice demonstrated steatosis, high levels of inflammation, an up-regulation of genes encoding proteins associated with the complement pathway and immune responses, and down-regulation of those associated with metabolic processes. These livers also showed an up-regulation of genes associated with fibrosis and malignant transformation but no histological evidence of either pathobiology or DNA damage. CONCLUSIONS:HFD-fed mice exhibited NAFLD that had incompletely transitioned from fatty liver to NASH. Importantly, bioinformatics approaches identified pre-fibrotic and premalignant signatures, suggesting that the pathogenesis of both fibrosis and cancer may initiate in fatty livers well before associated histological changes are evident.
Project description:To evaluate a calcium activated potassium channel (KCa3.1) inhibitor attenuates liver disease in models of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).We have performed a series of in vitro and in vivo studies using the KCa3.1 channel inhibitor, Senicapoc. Efficacy studies of Senicapoc were conducted in toxin-, thioacetamide (TAA) and high fat diet (HFD)-induced models of liver fibrosis in rats. Efficacy and pharmacodynamic effects of Senicapoc was determined through biomarkers of apoptosis, inflammation, steatosis and fibrosis.Upregulation of KCa3.1 expression was recorded in TAA-induced and high fat diet-induced liver disease. Treatment with Senicapoc decreased palmitic acid-driven HepG2 cell death. (P < 0.05 vs control) supporting the finding that Senicapoc reduces lipid-driven apoptosis in HepG2 cell cultures. In animals fed a HFD for 6 wk, co-treatment with Senicapoc, (1) reduced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) activity score (NAS) (0-8 scale), (2) decreased steatosis and (3) decreased hepatic lipid content (Oil Red O, P < 0.05 vs vehicle). Randomization of TAA animals and HFD fed animals to Senicapoc was associated with a decrease in liver fibrosis as evidenced by hydroxyproline and Masson's trichrome staining (P < 0.05 vs vehicle). These results demonstrated that Senicapoc mitigates both steatosis and fibrosis in liver fibrosis models.These data suggest that Senicapoc interrupts more than one node in progressive fatty liver disease by its anti-steatotic and anti-fibrotic activities, serving as a double-edged therapeutic sword.
Project description: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:Forkhead O transcription factors (FOXOs) have been implicated in glucose and lipid homeostasis; however, the role of FOXOs in the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is not well understood. In this study, we designed experiments to examine the effects of two different diets-very high fat diet (HFD) and moderately high fat plus cholesterol diet (HFC)-on wildtype (WT) and liver-specific Foxo1/3/4 triple knockout mice (LTKO). Both diets induced severe hepatic steatosis in the LTKO mice as compared to WT controls. However, the HFC diet led to more severe liver injury and fibrosis compared to the HFD diet. At the molecular levels, hepatic Foxo1/3/4 deficiency triggered a significant increase in the expression of inflammatory and fibrotic genes including Emr1, Ccl2, Col1a1, Tgfb, Pdgfrb, and Timp1. Thus, our data suggest that FOXO transcription factors play a salutary role in the protection against the diet-induced fatty liver disease.
Project description:Exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) has been associated with the progression of chronic liver diseases, yet the contribution of POPs to the development of fibrosis in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition closely linked to obesity, remains poorly documented.We investigated the effects of subchronic exposure to low doses of the POP 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), an aryl hydrocarbon receptor ligand, on NAFLD progression in diet-induced obese C57BL/6J mice.Male C57BL/6J mice were fed either a 10% low-fat (LFD) or a 45% high-fat (HFD) purified diet for 14 weeks and TCDD-exposed groups were injected once a week with 5 ?g/kg TCDD or the vehicle for the last 6 weeks of the diet.Liver histology and triglyceride levels showed that exposure of HFD fed mice to TCDD worsened hepatic steatosis, as compared to either HFD alone or LFD plus TCDD and the mRNA levels of key genes of hepatic lipid metabolism were strongly altered in co-treated mice. Further, increased liver collagen staining and serum transaminase levels showed that TCDD induced liver fibrosis in the HFD fed mice. TCDD in LFD fed mice increased the expression of several inflammation and fibrosis marker genes with no additional effect from a HFD.Exposure to TCDD amplifies the impairment of liver functions observed in mice fed an enriched fat diet as compared to a low fat diet. The results provide new evidence that environmental pollutants promote the development of liver fibrosis in obesity-related NAFLD in C57BL/6J mice. Citation: Duval C, Teixeira-Clerc F, Leblanc AF, Touch S, Emond C, Guerre-Millo M, Lotersztajn S, Barouki R, Aggerbeck M, Coumoul X. 2017. Chronic exposure to low doses of dioxin promotes liver fibrosis development in the C57BL/6J diet-induced obesity mouse model. Environ Health Perspect 125:428-436;?http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP316.
Project description:Mice lacking phosphatidylethanolamine <i>N</i>-methyltransferase (PEMT) are protected from high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity and insulin resistance. However, these mice develop severe nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) when fed the HFD, which is mainly due to inadequate secretion of VLDL particles. Our aim was to prevent NAFLD development in mice lacking PEMT. We treated <i>Pemt<sup>-/-</sup></i> mice with either ezetimibe or fenofibrate to see if either could ameliorate liver disease in these mice. Ezetimibe treatment did not reduce fat accumulation in <i>Pemt<sup>-/-</sup></i> livers, nor did it reduce markers for hepatic inflammation or fibrosis. Fenofibrate, conversely, completely prevented the development of NAFLD in <i>Pemt<sup>-/-</sup></i> mice: hepatic lipid levels, as well as markers of endoplasmic reticulum stress, inflammation, and fibrosis, in fenofibrate-treated <i>Pemt<sup>-/-</sup></i> mice were similar to those in <i>Pemt<sup>+/+</sup></i> mice. Importantly, <i>Pemt<sup>-/-</sup></i> mice were still protected against HFD-induced obesity and insulin resistance. Moreover, fenofibrate partially reversed hepatic steatosis and fibrosis in <i>Pemt<sup>-/-</sup></i> mice when treatment was initiated after NAFLD had already been established. Increasing hepatic fatty acid oxidation can compensate for the lower VLDL-triacylglycerol secretion rate and prevent/reverse fatty liver disease in mice lacking PEMT.
Project description:MicroRNA-29a (miR-29a) has been shown to ameliorate hepatocellular damage, such as in the context of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), steatohepatitis (NASH), and cholestatic injury. However, the mechanism mediating the hepatoprotective effect of miR-29a in diet-induced NASH remains elusive. In the present study, C57BL/6 mice of wild-type (WT) or miR-29a overexpression were fed with methionine-choline sufficient (MCS) or methionine-choline-deficient (MCD) diet for four weeks. The C57BL/6 mice harboring miR-29a overexpression presented reduced plasma AST, hepatic CD36, steatosis, and fibrosis induced by MCD. The TargetScan Release7.2-based bioinformatic analysis, KEGG pathway analysis, and luciferase reporter assay confirmed that miR-29a targets 3'UTR of glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (Gsk3b) mRNA in the HepG2 hepatocyte cell line. Furthermore, miR-29a overexpression in the MCD-fed group resulted in inhibition of Gsk3b mRNA and GSK3? protein levels in the liver. GSK3? was notably expressed jointly with the extent of aggregated protein, which was then identified to be associated with mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt), but not with endoplasmic reticulum UPR (UPRER). Additionally, in silico analysis of protein-protein interaction, in vivo, and in vitro correlation analyses of protein expression demonstrated that GSK3? closely associated with sirtuin 1(SIRT1). Finally, the implication of SIRT1-mediated mitochondrial biogenesis in the perturbation of proteostasis was observed. We herein provide novel insight into a hepatoprotective pathway, whereby miR-29a inhibits GSK3? to repress SIRT1-mediated mitochondrial biogenesis, leading to alleviation of mitochondrial proteostatic stress and UPRmt in the context of NASH. miR-29a, GSK3?, and SIRT1 could thus serve as possible therapeutic targets to improve the treatment of NAFLD/NASH.