Mir-101-3p Downregulation Promotes Fibrogenesis by Facilitating Hepatic Stellate Cell Transdifferentiation During Insulin Resistance.
ABSTRACT: Insulin resistance (IR) and microRNAs (miRNAs), which regulate cell-to-cell communication between hepatocytes and hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), may intertwine in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) pathogenesis. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether epigenetics and environmental factors interact to promote progressive NAFLD during IR. We examined the miRNA signature in insulin receptor haploinsufficient (InsR+/-) and wild-type (wt) HSCs by RNAseq (n = 4 per group). Then, we evaluated their impact in an IR-NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) model (InsR+/- mice fed standard or methionine choline deficient (MCD) diet, n = 10 per group) and in vitro. InsR+/- HSCs displayed 36 differentially expressed miRNAs (p < 0.05 vs. wt), whose expression was then analyzed in the liver of InsR+/- mice fed an MCD diet. We found that miR-101-3p negatively associated with both InsR+/- genotype and MCD (p < 0.05) and the histological spectrum of liver damage (p < 0.01). miR-101-3p was reduced in InsR+/- hepatocytes and HSCs and even more in InsR+/- cells exposed to insulin (0.33 µM) and fatty acids (0.25 mM), resembling the IR-NASH model. Conversely, insulin induced miR-101-3p expression in wt cells but not in InsR+/- ones (p < 0.05). In conclusion, IR combined with diet-induced liver injury favors miR-101-3p downregulation, which may promote progressive NAFLD through HSC and hepatocyte transdifferentiation and proliferation.
Project description:Background & Aims:C-C motif chemokine ligand 24 (CCL24) is a chemokine that regulates inflammatory and fibrotic activities through its receptor, C-C motif chemokine receptor (CCR3). The aim of the study was to evaluate the involvement of the CCL24-CCR3 axis in liver fibrosis and inflammation and to assess the potential of its blockade, by a monoclonal anti-CCL24 antibody, as a therapeutic strategy for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and liver fibrosis. Methods:Expression of CCL24 and CCR3 was evaluated in liver biopsies and blood samples. CCL24 involvement in NAFLD/NASH pathogenesis was assessed in Ccl24 knockout mouse using the methionine-choline deficient (MCD) diet experimental model. Antifibrotic and anti-inflammatory effects of CM-101 were tested in the MCD and STAM mouse models and in the thioacetamide (TAA) model in rats. Liver enzymes, liver morphology, histology and collagen deposition, as well as fibrosis- and inflammation-related protein expression were assessed. Activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) was evaluated in the human LX2 cell line. Results:Patients with NASH and advanced NAFLD exhibited significant expression of both CCL24 and CCR3 in liver and blood samples. In the experimental MCD-diet model, Ccl24 knockout mice showed an attenuated liver damage response compared to wild-type mice, exhibiting reduced histological NAFLD activity scores and fibrosis, as well as lower levels of liver enzymes. Blocking CCL24 using CM-101 robustly reduced liver damage in 3 experimental animal models (MCD, STAM and TAA), as demonstrated by attenuation of liver fibrosis and NAFLD activity score. Furthermore, blocking CCL24 by CM-101 significantly inhibited CCL24-induced HSC motility, ?-SMA expression and pro-collagen I secretion. Conclusion:Our results reveal that blocking CCL24 significantly attenuates liver fibrosis and inflammation and may have a potential therapeutic effect in patients with NASH and/or liver fibrosis. Lay summary:CCL24 is a chemokine that regulates inflammation and fibrosis. It was found to be significantly expressed in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, in whom it regulates profibrotic processes in the liver. Herein, we show that blockade of CCL24 using a monoclonal antibody robustly attenuated liver fibrosis and inflammation in animal models, thus suggesting a potential therapeutic role for an anti-CCL24 agent.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fibrosing steatohepatitis is a uniform process that occurs throughout nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown to be involved in the biological processes, but the role and molecular mechanism of miRNAs in NAFLD are not entirely clear. In this study, we observed a significant reduction in the expression of miR-130a-3p in livers of a mouse model with fibrosis induced by a methionine-choline-deficient diet, of NAFLD patients, and in activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). A dual-luciferase activity assay confirmed that transforming growth factor-beta receptors (TGFBRs) 1 and 2 were both the target genes of miR-130a-3p. The hepatic expression of TGFBR1 and TGFBR2 was significantly increased. Moreover, the overexpression of miR-130a-3p in HSCs inhibited HSC activation and proliferation, concomitant with the decreased expression of TGFBR1, TGFBR2, Smad2, Smad3, matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), MMP-9, type I collagen (Col-1), and Col-4. In addition, the overexpression of miR-130a-3p promoted HSC apoptosis by inducing the expression of caspase-dependent apoptosis genes. Transfection with si-TGFBR1 and si-TGFBR2 revealed effects on HSC function that were consistent with those of miR-130a-3p. TGFBR1 and TGFBR2 rescued the miR-130a-3p-mediated reductions in the mRNA and protein expression levels of Smad2, Smad3, Col-1, and Col-4. In conclusion, our findings suggest that miR-130a-3p might play a critical role in negatively regulating HSC activation and proliferation in the progression of nonalcoholic fibrosing steatohepatitis by directly targeting TGFBR1 and TGFBR2 via the TGF-?/SMAD signaling pathway.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fibrosing steatohepatitis is a uniform process throughout nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been suggested to modulate cellular processes in liver diseases. However, the functional role of miRNAs in nonalcoholic fibrosing steatohepatitis is largely unclear. In this study, we systematically analyzed the hepatic miRNAs by microarray analysis in nonalcoholic fibrosing steatohepatitis in C57BL/6J mice induced by methionine-choline deficient (MCD) diet. We identified 19 up-regulated and 18 down-regulated miRNAs in liver with fibrosis. Among these dysregulated miRNAs, miR-146a-5p was the most significant down-regulated miRNA. Luciferase activity assay confirmed that Wnt1 and Wnt5a were both the target genes of miR-146a-5p. Hepatic miR-146a-5p was down-regulated in fibrosing steatohepatitis, but its target genes Wnt1 and Wnt5a and their consequent effectors ?-SMA and Col-1 were significantly up-regulated. In addition, miR-146a-5p was downregulated, whilst Wnt1 and Wnt5a were up-regulated in the activated primary hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) compared to the quiescent primary HSCs. Overexpression of miR-146a-5p in HSCs inhibited HSC activation and proliferation, which concomitant with the decreased expressions of Wnt1, Wnt5a, ?-SMA and Col-1. In conclusion, miR-146a-5p suppresses activation and proliferation of HSCs in the progress of nonalcoholic fibrosing steatohepatitis through targeting Wnt1 and Wnt5a and consequent effectors ?-SMA and Col-1.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2D), but whether NAFLD plays a causal role in the pathogenesis of T2D is uncertain. One proposed mechanism linking NAFLD to hepatic insulin resistance involves diacylglycerol-mediated (DAG-mediated) activation of protein kinase C-? (PKC?) and the consequent inhibition of insulin receptor (INSR) kinase activity. However, the molecular mechanism underlying PKC? inhibition of INSR kinase activity is unknown. Here, we used mass spectrometry to identify the phosphorylation site Thr1160 as a PKC? substrate in the functionally critical INSR kinase activation loop. We hypothesized that Thr1160 phosphorylation impairs INSR kinase activity by destabilizing the active configuration of the INSR kinase, and our results confirmed this prediction by demonstrating severely impaired INSR kinase activity in phosphomimetic T1160E mutants. Conversely, the INSR T1160A mutant was not inhibited by PKC? in vitro. Furthermore, mice with a threonine-to-alanine mutation at the homologous residue Thr1150 (InsrT1150A mice) were protected from high fat diet-induced hepatic insulin resistance. InsrT1150A mice also displayed increased insulin signaling, suppression of hepatic glucose production, and increased hepatic glycogen synthesis compared with WT controls during hyperinsulinemic clamp studies. These data reveal a critical pathophysiological role for INSR Thr1160 phosphorylation and provide further mechanistic links between PKC? and INSR in mediating NAFLD-induced hepatic insulin resistance.
Project description:Hedgehog (Hh) signalling regulates hepatic fibrogenesis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) mediate various cellular processes; however, their role in liver fibrosis is unclear. Here we investigate regulation of miRNAs in chronically damaged fibrotic liver. MiRNA profiling shows that expression of miR-378 family members (miR-378a-3p, miR-378b and miR-378d) declines in carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-treated compared with corn-oil-treated mice. Overexpression of miR-378a-3p, directly targeting Gli3 in activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), reduces expression of Gli3 and profibrotic genes but induces gfap, the inactivation marker of HSCs, in CCl4-treated liver. Smo blocks transcriptional expression of miR-378a-3p by activating the p65 subunit of nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B). The hepatic level of miR-378a-3p is inversely correlated with the expression of Gli3 in tumour and non-tumour tissues in human hepatocellular carcinoma. Our results demonstrate that miR-378a-3p suppresses activation of HSCs by targeting Gli3 and its expression is regulated by Smo-dependent NF-?B signalling, suggesting miR-378a-3p has therapeutic potential for liver fibrosis.
Project description:The activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) participates in liver fibrosis, and emerging evidences indicate that microRNAs (miRNAs) are abnormally expressed during HSC activation. However, the potential roles of miRNAs in liver fibrosis still remain elusive. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the role of miR-199a-3p in liver fibrosis and its underlying mechanism. We found that miR-199a-3p expression was dramatically upregulated during HSC activation in vitro, and during liver fibrogenesis in CCl4-treated rats, and its liver expression was increased in the patients with cirrhosis. By the luciferase assay and RT-qPCR, we revealed that the expression of miR-199a-3p in HSCs was driven by the transcription factor Twist1 which could be further induced by TGF-? treatment. Functional studies showed that inhibition of miR-199a-3p in both human LX2 cells and rat HSCs significantly decreased the expression of fibrotic markers, such as fibronectin and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), whereas the forced expression of miR-199a-3p exhibited opposite effects, demonstrating the role of miR-199a-3p in promoting HSC activation. Mechanistically, miR-199a-3p plays an important role in TGF-? signalling pathway activation through targeting CAV2 that negatively regulates the expression of transforming growth factor-beta receptor type I (TGF?RI). Importantly, administration of antagomiR-199a-3p in the CCl4-treated mice significantly ameliorated hepatic fibrosis. In conclusion, Twist1-induced miR-199a-3p mediates the activation of HSCs by suppressing CAV2 expression and subsequently increasing TGF?RI expression to promote TGF-? pathway. Our findings highlight the therapeutic potential of miR-199a-3p for hepatic fibrosis.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been confirmed to participate in liver fibrosis progression and activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). In this study, the role of miR-193a/b-3p in concanavalin A (ConA)-induced liver fibrosis in mice was evaluated. According to the results, the expression of miR-193a/b-3p was down-regulated in liver tissues after exposure to ConA. Lentivirus-mediated overexpression of miR-193a/b-3p reduced ConA-induced liver injury as demonstrated by decreasing ALT and AST levels. Moreover, ConA-induced liver fibrosis was restrained by the up-regulation of miR-193a/b-3 through inhibiting collagen deposition, decreasing desmin and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) expression and lessening the content of hydroxyproline, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and activin A in liver tissues. Furthermore, miR-193a/b-3p mimics suppressed the proliferation of human HSCs LX-2 via inducing the apoptosis of LX-2 cells and lowering the levels of cell cycle-related proteins Cyclin D1, Cyclin E1, p-Rb and CAPRIN1. Finally, TGF-β1 and activin A-mediated activation of LX-2 cells was reversed by miR-193a/b-3p mimics via repressing COL1A1 and α-SMA expression, and restraining the activation of TGF-β/Smad2/3 signalling pathway. CAPRIN1 and TGF-β2 were demonstrated to be the direct target genes of miR-193a/b-3p. We conclude that miR-193a/b-3p overexpression attenuates liver fibrosis through suppressing the proliferation and activation of HSCs. Our data suggest that miR-193a-3p and miR-193b-3p may be new therapeutic targets for liver fibrosis.
Project description:Insulin resistance (IR) contributes to diabetes and aging. Ultraconserved elements (UCEs) are a class of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) that are 100% conserved in humans, mice, and rats. We identified the lncRNA uc.333 using an lncRNA microarray and then used quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to analyze its expression in the livers of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients, db/db mice, high-fat diet-fed mice, IL-6-treated mice, and TNF-?-treated mice. The underlying mechanisms of uc.333 in IR were investigated using fluorescence in situ hybridization, Western blot, and miRNA microarray analyses. The results revealed that uc.333 expression was decreased in liver tissues from NAFLD patients and treated mice. Furthermore, overexpression of uc.333 decreased IR, whereas knocking down uc.333 increased IR. We also confirmed that uc.333 binds to miR-223 and that the levels of miR-223 were increased in the livers of patients and treated mice. These findings showed that uc.333 improves IR by binding to miR-223; thus, uc.333 may be a useful target for the treatment and prevention of IR.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Numerous studies have indicated that the apoptosis and proliferation of granulosa cells (GCs) are closely related to the normal growth and development of follicles and ovaries. Previous evidence has suggested that miR-126-3p might get involved in the apoptosis and proliferation of GCs, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase regulatory subunit 2 (PIK3R2) gene has been predicted as one target of miR-126-3p. However, the molecular regulation of miR-126-3p on PIK3R2 and the effects of PIK3R2 on porcine GCs apoptosis and proliferation remain virtually unexplored. METHODS:In this study, using porcine GCs as a cellular model, luciferase report assay, mutation and deletion were applied to verify the targeting relationship between miR-126-3p and PIK3R2. Annexin-V/PI staining and 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine assay were applied to explore the effect of PIK3R2 on GCs apoptosis and proliferation, respectively. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and Western Blot were applied to explore the regulation of miR-126-3p on PIK3R2 expression. RESULTS:We found that miR-126-3p targeted at PIK3R2 and inhibited its mRNA and protein expression. Knockdown of PIK3R2 significantly inhibited the apoptosis and promoted the proliferation of porcine GCs, and significantly down-regulated the mRNA expression of several key genes of PI3K pathway such as insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R), insulin receptor (INSR), pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 (PDK1), and serine/threonine kinase 1 (AKT1). CONCLUSION:MiR-126-3p might target and inhibit the mRNA and protein expressions of PIK3R2, thereby inhibiting GC apoptosis and promoting GC proliferation by down-regulating several key genes of the PI3K pathway, IGF1R, INSR, PDK1, and AKT1. These findings would provide great insight into further exploring the molecular regulation of miR-126-3p and PIK3R2 on the functions of GCs during the folliculogenesis in female mammals.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by a spectrum of liver pathologies, from simple steatosis to steatohepatitis. Recent studies have increasingly noted the aberrant expression of microRNAs closely related to NAFLD pathologies. We have previously shown the presence of increased levels of microRNA-27b (miR-27b) in patients with NAFLD. In this study, we investigated the role of miR-27b in NAFLD by examining the impact of up-regulated miR-27b on the differentiation of preadipocytes into mature adipocytes. We found that miR-27b-3p remarkably enhances the adipocyte differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells associated with lipid accumulation and intracellular triglyceride contents. Furthermore, we have demonstrated not only that miR-27b-3p induces acyl-CoA thioesterase 2 (ACOT2) expression in 3T3-L1 cells, but also that the knockdown of ACOT2 suppresses lipid accumulation and adipocyte differentiation in both the presence and absence of miR-27b-3p treatment. Our data strongly suggest that the miR-27b-ACOT2 axis is an important pathway in adipocyte differentiation and may play a role in the pathogenesis of NAFLD.