Animal model of acute-on-chronic alcoholic liver injury [DDC study]
ABSTRACT: Background and aims: Liver is a major target organ for alcohol-induced disease and the spectrum of pathological states elicited by alcohol in liver comprises steatosis, alcoholic steatohepatitis, progressive fibrosis and cirrhosis, conditions that may progress to hepatocellular carcinoma. Many experimental animal models of alcoholic steatohepatitis exist that vary in duration, mode of alcohol administration and the degree and types of liver injury produced. While most of these models, regardless whether alcohol is administered through liquid diet or intragastrically, produce steatohepatitis and mild fibrosis, it is widely acknowledged that these models fail to fully recapitulate key characteristics of severe forms of alcoholic liver disease, such as alcoholic hepatitis. Recent studies attempted to combine alcohol and fibrosis and achieved promising results in mouse models that achieve some of the key features of alcoholic liver disease accompanied by exacerbated fibrosis and acute renal injury. This study combined a chronic cholestatic liver fibrosis model induced by 3,5-diethoxycarbonyl-1,4-dihydrocollidine (DDC) with a mouse model of intragastric alcohol feeding. Methods: Adult male C57BL6/J mice were treated with 3,5-diethoxycarbonyl-1,4-dihydrocolidine (DDC) containing diet (0.05% w/w) to induce chronic liver fibrosis. Following DDC-induced fibrogenesis, ethyl alcohol (EtOH) (up to 27 g/ kg/day, up to 28 days) was administered continuously to mice via a gastric feeding tube (Tsukamoto-Frenchmodel of alcoholic liver disease). Results: Exposure to DDC or EtOH alone resulted in liver fibrosis or steatosis, respectively. Combined treatment with DDC and EtOH lead to an additive effect on liver injury, as evident by the development of hepatic inflammation, steatosis, and pericellular fibrosis, and by increased serum transaminase levels, compared to mice treated with either agent alone. Liver transcriptomic changes specific to combined treatment group included pathways involved in the cell cycle and DNA damage. Analyses of feces from these mice revealed alcohol-associated changes to the bile acid profile and gut microbiome. Conclusions: Mice treated with DDC and EtOH displayed several key characteristics of human alcoholic hepatitis, including pericellular fibrosis, increased hepatic bacterial load with dysbiosis, reduced capacity of the microbiome to synthesize secondary bile acids. Overall design: Animal model of acute-on-chronic alcoholic hepatitis
Project description:Human alcoholic hepatitis (AH) carries a high mortality rate. AH is an acute-on-chronic form of liver injury characterized by hepatic steatosis, ballooned hepatocytes, neutrophil infiltration, and pericellular fibrosis. We aimed to study the pathogenesis of AH in an animal model which combines chronic hepatic fibrosis with intragastric alcohol administration. Adult male C57BL6/J mice were treated with CCl4 (0.2?ml/kg, 2×weekly by intraperitoneal injections for 6?weeks) to induce chronic liver fibrosis. Then, ethyl alcohol (up to 25?g/kg/day for 3?weeks) was administered continuously to mice via a gastric feeding tube, with or without one-half dose of CCl4. Liver and serum markers and liver transcriptome were evaluated to characterize acute-on-chronic-alcoholic liver disease in our model. CCl4 or alcohol treatment alone induced liver fibrosis or steatohepatitis, respectively, findings that were consistent with expected pathology. Combined treatment resulted in a marked exacerbation of liver injury, as evident by the development of inflammation, steatosis, and pericellular fibrosis, pathological features of human AH. E. coli and Candida were also detected in livers of mice cotreated with CCl4 and alcohol, indicating pathogen translocation from gut to liver, similar to human AH. Importantly, liver transcriptomic changes specific to combined treatment group demonstrated close concordance with pathways perturbed in patients with severe AH. Overall, mice treated with CCl4 and alcohol displayed key molecular and pathological characteristics of human AH-pericellular fibrosis, increased hepatic bacterial load, and dysregulation of the same molecular pathways. This model may be useful for developing therapeutics for AH.
Project description:Background and aims: We aimed to study the pathogenesis of AH in an animal model of acute-on-chronic alcoholic liver disease which combines chronic hepatic fibrosis with intragastric alcohol administration. Methods: Adult male C57BL6/J mice were treated with CCl4 (0.2 ml/kg, 2×weekly by intraperitoneal injections for 6 weeks) to induce chronic liver fibrosis. Then, ethyl alcohol (EtOH) (up to 25 g/kg/day, for 3 weeks) was administered continuously to mice via a gastric feeding tube, with or without one-half dose of CCl4. Liver and serum markers were evaluated to characterize acute-on-chronic-alcoholic liver disease in our model. Results: CCl4 or EtOH treatment alone induced liver fibrosis or steatohepatitis, respectively, findings that were consistent with expected pathology. Combined treatment with CCl4 and EtOH resulted in a marked exacerbation of liver injury, as evident by the development of hepatic inflammation, marked steatosis, and pericellular fibrosis, and by increased serum transaminase levels, compared to mice treated with either treatment alone. Liver transcriptomic changes specific to combined treatment group demonstrated close concordance with pathways perturbed in human severe cases of AH. In addition to gene expression changes, E. coli and Candida species were also significantly more abundant in livers of mice co-treated with CCl4 and EtOH. Conclusions: Mice treated with CCl4 and EtOH displayed several key characteristics of human AH, including pericellular fibrosis, increased hepatic bacterial load, and dysregulation of the same molecular pathways. This model may be useful for developing therapeutics for AH. Overall design: Animal model of acute-on-chronic alcoholic liver injury
Project description:Excessive alcohol consumption is a leading cause of chronic liver disease in the Western world. Alcohol-induced hepatotoxicity and oxidative stress are important mechanisms contributing to the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease. However, emerging evidence suggests that activation of innate immunity involving TLR4 and complement also plays an important role in initiating alcoholic steatohepatitis and fibrosis, but the role of adaptive immunity in the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease remains obscure. Activation of a TLR4-mediated MyD88-independent (TRIF/IRF-3) signaling pathway in Kupffer cells contributes to alcoholic steatohepatitis, whereas activation of TLR4 signaling in hepatic stellate cells promotes liver fibrosis. Alcohol consumption activates the complement system in the liver by yet unidentified mechanisms, leading to alcoholic steatohepatitis. In contrast to activation of TLR4 and complement, alcohol consumption can inhibit natural killer cells, another important innate immunity component, contributing to alcohol-mediated acceleration of viral infection and liver fibrosis in patients with chronic viral hepatitis. Understanding of the role of innate immunity in the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease may help us identify novel therapeutic targets to treat this disease.
Project description:Because the histological and biochemical progression of liver disease is similar in alcoholic steatohepatitis (ASH) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), we hypothesized that the genetic susceptibility to these liver diseases would be similar. To identify potential candidate genes that regulate the development of liver fibrosis, we studied a chromosome substitution strain (CSS-17) that contains chromosome 17 from the A/J inbred strain substituted for the corresponding chromosome on the C57BL/6J (B6) genetic background. Previously, we identified quantitative trait loci (QTLs) in CSS-17, namely obesity-resistant QTL 13 and QTL 15 (Obrq13 and Obrq15, respectively), that were associated with protection from diet-induced obesity and hepatic steatosis on a high-fat diet.To test whether these or other CSS-17 QTLs conferred resistance to alcohol-induced liver injury and fibrosis, B6, A/J, CSS-17, and congenics 17C-1 and 17C-6 were either fed Lieber-DeCarli ethanol (EtOH)-containing diet or had carbon tetrachloride (CCl4 ) administered chronically.The congenic strain carrying Obrq15 showed resistance from alcohol-induced liver injury and liver fibrosis, whereas Obrq13 conferred susceptibility to liver fibrosis. From published deep sequencing data for chromosome 17 in the B6 and A/J strains, we identified candidate genes in Obrq13 and Obrq15 that contained single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the promoter region or within the gene itself. NADPH oxidase organizer 1 (Noxo1) and NLR family, CARD domain containing 4 (Nlrc4) showed altered hepatic gene expression in strains with the A/J allele at the end of the EtOH diet study and after CCl4 treatment.Aspects of the genetics for the progression of ASH are unique compared to NASH, suggesting that the molecular mechanisms for the progression of disease are at least partially distinct. Using these CSSs, we identified 2 candidate genes, Noxo1 and Nlrc4, which modulate genetic susceptibility in ASH.
Project description:The following review article presents clinical and experimental features of alcohol-induced liver disease (ALD). Basic aspects of alcohol metabolism leading to the development of liver hepatotoxicity are discussed. ALD includes fatty liver, acute alcoholic hepatitis with or without liver failure, alcoholic steatohepatitis (ASH) leading to fibrosis and cirrhosis, and hepatocellular cancer (HCC). ALD is fully attributable to alcohol consumption. However, only 10-20% of heavy drinkers (persons consuming more than 40 g of ethanol/day) develop clinical ALD. Moreover, there is a link between behaviour and environmental factors that determine the amount of alcohol misuse and their liver disease. The range of clinical presentation varies from reversible alcoholic hepatic steatosis to cirrhosis, hepatic failure, and hepatocellular carcinoma. We aimed to (1) describe the clinico-pathology of ALD, (2) examine the role of immune responses in the development of alcoholic hepatitis (ASH), (3) propose diagnostic markers of ASH, (4) analyze the experimental models of ALD, (5) study the role of alcohol in changing the microbiota, and (6) articulate how findings in the liver and/or intestine influence the brain (and/or vice versa) on ASH; (7) identify pathways in alcohol-induced organ damage and (8) to target new innovative experimental concepts modeling the experimental approaches. The present review includes evidence recognizing the key toxic role of alcohol in ALD severity. Cytochrome p450 CYP2E1 activation may change the severity of ASH. The microbiota is a key element in immune responses, being an inducer of proinflammatory T helper 17 cells and regulatory T cells in the intestine. Alcohol consumption changes the intestinal microbiota and influences liver steatosis and liver inflammation. Knowing how to exploit the microbiome to modulate the immune system might lead to a new form of personalized medicine in ALF and ASH.
Project description:Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) represents a spectrum of injury, ranging from simple steatosis to alcoholic hepatitis to cirrhosis. Regular alcohol use results in fatty changes in the liver which can develop into inflammation, fibrosis and ultimately cirrhosis with continued, excessive drinking. Alcoholic hepatitis (AH) is an acute hepatic inflammation associated with significant morbidity and mortality that can occur in patients with steatosis or underlying cirrhosis. The pathogenesis of ALD is multifactorial and in addition to genetic factors, alcohol-induced hepatocyte damage, reactive oxygen species, gut-derived microbial components result in steatosis and inflammatory cell (macrophage and neutrophil leukocyte) recruitment and activation in the liver. Continued alcohol and pro-inflammatory cytokines induce stellate cell activation and result in progressive fibrosis. Other than cessation of alcohol use, medical therapy of AH is limited to prednisolone in a subset of patients. Given the high mortality of AH and the progressive nature of ALD, there is a major need for new therapeutic intervention for this underserved patient population.
Project description:The diagnosis of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and fibrosis staging are central to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease assessment. We evaluated multiparametric magnetic resonance in the assessment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and fibrosis using histology as standard in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.Seventy-one patients with suspected non-alcoholic fatty liver disease were recruited within 1 month of liver biopsy. Magnetic resonance data were used to define the liver inflammation and fibrosis score (LIF 0-4). Biopsies were assessed for steatosis, lobular inflammation, ballooning and fibrosis and classified as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or simple steatosis, and mild or significant (Activity ?2 and/or Fibrosis ?2 as defined by the Fatty Liver Inhibition of Progression consortium) non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Transient elastography was also performed.Magnetic resonance success rate was 95% vs 59% for transient elastography (P<.0001). Fibrosis stage on biopsy correlated with liver inflammation and fibrosis (rs =.51, P<.0001). The area under the receiver operating curve using liver inflammation and fibrosis for the diagnosis of cirrhosis was 0.85. Liver inflammation and fibrosis score for ballooning grades 0, 1 and 2 was 1.2, 2.7 and 3.5 respectively (P<.05) with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.83 for the diagnosis of ballooning. Patients with steatosis had lower liver inflammation and fibrosis (1.3) compared to patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (3.0) (P<.0001); area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the diagnosis of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis was 0.80. Liver inflammation and fibrosis scores for patients with mild and significant non-alcoholic fatty liver disease were 1.2 and 2.9 respectively (P<.0001). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of liver inflammation and fibrosis for the diagnosis of significant non-alcoholic fatty liver disease was 0.89.Multiparametric magnetic resonance is a promising technique with good diagnostic accuracy for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease histological parameters, and can potentially identify patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and cirrhosis.
Project description:Correlative evidence indicates that apoptosis is associated with the progression of alcoholic liver disease. If apoptosis contributes to ethanol (EtOH)-induced steatohepatitis and/or fibrosis, then mice deficient in Bid, a key pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family member, or mice treated with a pan-caspase inhibitor (VX166) should be resistant to EtOH-induced liver injury.This hypothesis was tested in mice using a model of chronic, heavy EtOH-induced liver injury, as well as in a model in which moderate EtOH feeding accelerated the appearance of early markers of hepatic fibrosis in response to acute carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4) ) exposure.Chronic EtOH feeding to mice increased TUNEL- and cytokeratin-18-positive cells in the liver, as well as the expression of receptor-interacting protein kinase 3 (RIP3), a marker of necroptosis. In this model, Bid-/- mice or wild-type mice treated with VX166 were protected from EtOH-induced apoptosis, but not EtOH-induced RIP3 expression. Bid deficiency or inhibition of caspase activity did not protect mice from EtOH-induced increases in plasma alanine and aspartate amino transferase activity, steatosis, or mRNA expression of some inflammatory cytokines. Moderate EtOH feeding to mice enhanced the response of mice to acute CCl(4) exposure, resulting in increased expression of ?-smooth muscle actin and accumulation of extracellular matrix protein. VX166-treatment attenuated EtOH-mediated acceleration of these early indicators of CCl(4) -induced hepatic fibrosis, decreasing the expression of ?-smooth muscle actin, and the accumulation of extracellular matrix protein.EtOH-induced apoptosis of hepatocytes was mediated by Bid. Apoptosis played a critical role in the accelerating the appearance of early markers of CCl(4) -induced fibrosis by moderate EtOH but did not contribute to EtOH-induced hepatocyte injury, steatosis, or expression of mRNA for some inflammatory cytokines.
Project description:While non-alcoholic steatohepatitis is a slowly progressive disease, patients may rarely present in acute liver failure. We describe six patients who developed severe hepatic dysfunction following rapid weight loss or malnutrition. Rapid weight loss (18 to 91 kg) occurred after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass in four patients and starvation-like dieting or hypoalbuminemia was noted in two patients. Four patients either died or received an urgent liver transplant. Pathologic findings were characterized by advanced alcoholic steatohepatitis-like features, including extensive/circumferential centrizonal pericellular fibrosis, central scar with perivenular sclerosis/veno-occlusion with superimposed hepatocellular dropout, abundant/prominent hepatocellular balloons, and numerous Mallory-Denk bodies, but there was no history of excess alcohol consumption. This study characterizes clinicopathologic features of aggressive non-alcoholic steatohepatitis following rapid weight loss or malnutrition, which should be included in the differential diagnosis with alcohol when a patient is considered for liver transplantation. The mechanism of liver injury in aggressive steatohepatitis is unknown, but rapid fat mobilization in obese patients may potentially cause oxidative stress to the liver and further study is needed to determine if there is a genetic predisposition to this form of injury and if antioxidants may protect the liver during rapid weight loss/malnutrition.
Project description:The modest consumption of alcohol has been reported to decrease the incidence of fatty liver or prevalence of steatohepatitis. In this study, we investigated the effect of light alcohol consumption on liver function and gene expression in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).The study group was formed of 178 patients diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, subclassified into two groups for analysis based on the daily alcohol consumption: non-alcohol group and light alcohol consumer group (?20 g of ethanol/day). Clinical characteristics, liver histological features, gene expression, comprehensively analyzed using microarrays (BRB-Array tools), and molecular network were evaluated and compared between the two groups.No significant differences in steatosis or inflammation score were noted among the groups. However, the ballooning and fibrosis scores were significantly lower in the light alcohol consumer group than in the non-alcohol group. Gene expression analysis revealed a marked inhibition of the pathways involved in the immune response in the light alcohol group compared to that in the non-alcohol group.Light alcohol consumption might suppress activity of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis by reducing gene expression levels involved in the immune response. This inhibition in gene expression was associated with a lowering of liver fibrosis and hepatocellular injury.