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Decreased PEDF Promotes Hepatic Fatty Acid Uptake and Lipid Droplet Formation in the Pathogenesis of NAFLD.

ABSTRACT: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the leading cause of chronic liver diseases worldwide, ranges from simple steatosis to steatohepatitis, with the risk for progressive fibrosis or even cirrhosis. While simple steatosis is a relatively benign condition, the buildup of toxic lipid metabolites can induce chronic inflammation, ultimately triggering disease progression. Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) is a secreted, multifunctional glycoprotein with lipid metabolic activities. PEDF promotes lipolysis through binding to adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), a key enzyme for triglyceride breakdown. In the current study, we aimed to delineate how changes in PEDF expression affect hepatic lipid accumulation. Our data revealed that hepatic PEDF was downregulated in a mouse NAFLD model. We further showed that decreased PEDF levels in hepatocytes in vitro resulted in elevated fatty acid uptake and lipid droplet formation, with concomitant upregulation of fatty acid transport proteins CD36 and fatty acid binding protein 1 (FABP1). RNA sequencing analysis of PEDF knocked down hepatocytes revealed an alteration in gene expression profile toward lipid accumulation. Additionally, decreased PEDF promotes mobilization of fatty acids, an observation distinct from blocking ATGL activity. Taken together, our data suggest that hepatic PEDF downregulation causes molecular changes that favor triglyceride accumulation, which may further lead to NAFLD progression.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7019565 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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