Gene Expression Analysis of the response to ACC inhibition
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND & AIMS: Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a chronic liver disease characterized by hepatic lipid accumulation, inflammation, and progressive fibrosis. Acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) catalyzes the rate-limiting step of de novo lipogenesis and regulates fatty-acid -oxidation in hepatocytes. ACC inhibition reduces hepatic fat content and markers of liver injury in NASH patients; however, the effect of ACC inhibition on liver fibrosis has not been reported. METHODS: A direct role for ACC in fibrosis was evaluated by measuring de novo lipogenesis, procollagen production, gene expression, glycolysis, and mitochondrial respiration in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) in the absence or presence of small-molecule inhibitors of ACC. ACC inhibitors were evaluated in rodent models of liver fibrosis induced by diet or the hepatotoxin, DEN. Fibrosis and hepatic steatosis were evaluated by histological and biochemical assessments. RESULTS: In TGF--stimulated HSCs, ACC inhibition reduced activation and collagen production independent of mitochondrial -oxidation by blocking de novo lipogenesis. ACC inhibition prevented a metabolic switch necessary for induction of glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation during HSC activation. Consistent with this direct anti-fibrotic mechanism in HSCs, ACC inhibition reduced liver fibrosis in a rat CDHFD model and in response to chronic DEN-induced liver injury that lacked hepatic lipid accumulation. CONCLUSIONS: In addition to reducing lipid accumulation in hepatocytes, ACC inhibition also directly impairs the pro-fibrogenic activity of HSCs. Small molecule inhibitors of ACC may reduce liver fibrosis by both reducing lipotoxicity in hepatocytes and directly reducing HSC activation, providing a mechanistic rationale for the treatment of patients with advanced liver fibrosis due to NASH. Overall design: Liver samples from mice fed a normal diet or fed an FFD and treated with vehicle or an ACC inhibitor. Three day time course of primary hepatic stellate cells treated with an ACC inhibitor, TGF beta, or a TGF inhibitor.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS:The genetic PNPLA3 polymorphism I148M has been extensively associated with higher risk for development and progression of NAFLD towards NASH. METHODS:PNPLA3 and ?-SMA expression were quantified in liver biopsies collected from NASH patients (n = 26) with different fibrosis stages and PNPLA3 genotypes. To study the potential mechanisms driving PNPLA3 expression during NASH progression towards fibrosis, hepatocytes and hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) were cultivated in low and high glucose medium. Moreover, hepatocytes were treated with increasing concentrations of palmitic acid alone or in combination with glucose. Conditioned media were collected from challenged hepatocytes to stimulate HSCs. RESULTS:Tissue expression of PNPLA3 was significantly enhanced in biopsies of patients carrying the I148M polymorphism compared to wild type (WT). In NASH biopsies, PNPLA3 significantly correlated with fibrosis stage and ?-SMA levels independently of PNPLA3 genotype. In line, PNPLA3 expression was higher in ?-SMA positive cells. Low glucose increased PNPLA3 in HSCs, whereas high glucose induced PNPLA3 and de-novo lipogenesis-related genes expression in hepatocytes. Palmitic acid induced fat accumulation and cell stress markers in hepatocytes, which could be counteracted by oleic acid. Conditioned media collected from lipotoxic challenged hepatocytes markedly induced PNPLA3 mRNA and protein levels, fibrogenic and autophagic markers and promoted migration in HSCs. Notably, conditioned media collected from hepatocytes cultivated with both glucose and palmitic acid exacerbated HSCs migration, PNPLA3 and fibrogenic gene expression, promoting release of cytokines from HSCs. CONCLUSIONS:Collectively, our observations uncover the diverse metabolic regulation of PNPLA3 among different hepatic cell populations and support its relation to fibrosis progression.
Project description:A promising approach for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the inhibition of enhanced hepatic de novo lipogenesis (DNL), which is the synthesis of fatty acids from nonlipid sources. This study assesses three approaches to DNL suppression in a newly developed dietary NASH mouse model: i) dietary intervention (switch from NASH-inducing diet to normal diet); ii) inhibition of acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase (ACC), the enzyme catalyzing the rate-limiting step in DNL; and iii) activation of farnesoid X receptor (FXR), a major transcriptional regulator of DNL. C57BL/6J mice on a high-fat diet combined with ad libitum consumption of a fructose-sucrose solution developed several of the liver histologic features seen in human disease, including steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis, accompanied by elevated fibrosis biomarkers and liver injury enzymes. Obesity and metabolic impairments were associated with increased intestinal permeability and progression to adenoma and hepatocellular carcinoma. All three approaches led to resolution of established NASH with fibrosis in mice; however, some differences were noted, e.g., with respect to the degree of hepatic steatosis attenuation. While ACC inhibition resulted in elevated blood triglycerides and peripheral obesity, FXR activation prevented peripheral obesity in NASH mice. Comparative transcriptome analysis underlined the translatability of the mouse model to human NASH and revealed novel mechanistic insights into differential regulation of lipid, inflammatory, and extracellular matrix pathways by FXR agonism and ACC inhibition. Conclusion: Novel insights are provided on back translation of clinically observed endpoints of DNL inhibition by targeting ACC or FXR, which are promising therapeutic options for the treatment of NASH, in a newly developed diet-induced NASH mouse model.
Project description:<h4>Background and aims</h4>G protein-coupled receptor (GPR) 55 is a putative cannabinoid receptor, and l-?-lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) is its only known endogenous ligand. Although GPR55 has been linked to energy homeostasis in different organs, its specific role in lipid metabolism in the liver and its contribution to the pathophysiology of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) remains unknown.<h4>Approach and results</h4>We measured (1) GPR55 expression in the liver of patients with NAFLD compared with individuals without obesity and without liver disease, as well as animal models with steatosis and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and (2) the effects of LPI and genetic disruption of GPR55 in mice, human hepatocytes, and human hepatic stellate cells. Notably, we found that circulating LPI and liver expression of GPR55 were up-regulated in patients with NASH. LPI induced adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase activation of acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase (ACC) and increased lipid content in human hepatocytes and in the liver of treated mice by inducing de novo lipogenesis and decreasing ?-oxidation. The inhibition of GPR55 and ACC? blocked the effects of LPI, and the in vivo knockdown of GPR55 was sufficient to improve liver damage in mice fed a high-fat diet and in mice fed a methionine-choline-deficient diet. Finally, LPI promoted the initiation of hepatic stellate cell activation by stimulating GPR55 and activation of ACC.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The LPI/GPR55 system plays a role in the development of NAFLD and NASH by activating ACC.
Project description:Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) encompasses a wide spectrum of disease severity, starting from pure steatosis, leading to fatty inflammation labeled as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and finally fibrosis leading to cirrhosis. Activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) are known to contribute to fibrosis, but less is known about their function during NAFLD's early stages prior to fibrosis. We developed an ex vivo assay that cocultures primary HSCs from mouse models of liver disease with healthy hepatocytes to study their interaction. Our data indicate that chemokine Ccl5 is one of the HSC-secreted mediators in early NASH in humans and in mice fed with choline-deficient, L-amino acid defined, high fat diet. Furthermore, Ccl5 directly induces steatosis and pro-inflammatory factors in healthy hepatocytes through the receptor Ccr5. Although Ccl5 is already known to be secreted by many liver cell types including HSCs and its pro-fibrotic role well characterized, its pro-steatotic action has not been recognized until now. Similarly, the function of HSCs in fibrogenesis is widely accepted, but their pro-steatotic role has been unclear. Our result suggests that in early NASH, HSCs secrete Ccl5 which contributes to a broad array of mechanisms by which hepatic steatosis and inflammation are achieved.
Project description:Odontogenic infection of Porphyromonas gingivalis (P.g.), a major periodontal pathogen, exacerbates pathological progression of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). In this study, we aimed to clarify the detailed mechanism in which P.g. induced hepatic stellate cells (HSCs; key effector cells in liver fibrosis) activation. In the liver of high fat diet-induced NASH mouse model with P.g. odontogenic infection, immunolocalization of P.g. was detected. The number of hepatic crown-like structure, which was macrophage aggregation and related to liver fibrosis, was drastically increased and fibrosis area was also increased through upregulating immunoexpression of Phosphorylated Smad2 (key signaling molecule of TGF-?1) and Galectin-3. P.g.-secreted trypsin-like enzyme [gingipain; an activator of protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2)] stimulated HSC proliferation and differentiation through Smad and ERK signaling induced by TGF-?1 produced from HSCs with P.g.-infection. Further, Galectin-3 produced from HSCs with P.g. infection and P.g.-derived LPS/lipoprotein stimulation stabilized TGF?-receptor II resulting in increasing sensitivity for TGF-?1, finally leading to HSC differentiation via activating Smad and ERK signaling. In addition to them, hepatocytes (main component cells of liver) contributed to HSC activation through TGF-?1 and Galectin-3 production in paracrine manner. Collectively, P.g.-odontogenic infection exacerbates fibrosis of NASH by HSC activation through TGF-?1 and Gal-3 production from HSCs and hepatocytes.
Project description:Spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) plays a critical role in immune cell signaling pathways and has been reported as a biomarker for human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We sought to investigate the mechanism by which SYK promotes liver fibrosis and to evaluate SYK as a therapeutic target for liver fibrosis. We evaluated the cellular localization of SYK and the association between SYK expression and liver fibrogenesis in normal, hepatitis B virus (HBV)-infected, hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) liver tissue (n=36, 127, 22 and 30, respectively). A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) array was used to detect the changes in transcription factor (TF) expression in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) with SYK knockdown. The effects of SYK antagonism on liver fibrogenesis were studied in LX-2 cells, TWNT-4 cells, primary human HSCs, and three progressive fibrosis/cirrhosis animal models, including a CCL4 mouse model, and diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and bile duct ligation (BDL) rat models. We found that SYK protein in HSCs and hepatocytes correlated positively with liver fibrosis stage in human liver tissue. HBV or HCV infection significantly increased SYK and cytokine expression in hepatocytes. Increasing cytokine production further induced SYK expression and fibrosis-related gene transcription in HSCs. Up-regulated SYK in HSCs promoted HSC activation by increasing the expression of specific TFs related to activation of HSCs. SYK antagonism effectively suppressed liver fibrosis via inhibition of HSC activation, and decreased obstructive jaundice and reduced HCC development in animal models. Conclusion: SYK promotes liver fibrosis via activation of HSCs and is an attractive potential therapeutic target for liver fibrosis and prevention of HCC development. (Hepatology 2018).
Project description:Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a leading cause of cirrhosis. Recently, we showed that NASH-related cirrhosis is associated with Hedgehog (Hh) pathway activation. The gene encoding osteopontin (OPN), a profibrogenic extracellular matrix protein and cytokine, is a direct transcriptional target of the Hh pathway. Thus, we hypothesize that Hh signaling induces OPN to promote liver fibrosis in NASH. Hepatic OPN expression and liver fibrosis were analyzed in wild-type (WT) mice, Patched-deficient (Ptc(+/-) ) (overly active Hh signaling) mice, and OPN-deficient mice before and after feeding methionine and choline-deficient (MCD) diets to induce NASH-related fibrosis. Hepatic OPN was also quantified in human NASH and nondiseased livers. Hh signaling was manipulated in cultured liver cells to assess direct effects on OPN expression, and hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) were cultured in medium with different OPN activities to determine effects on HSC phenotype. When fed MCD diets, Ptc(+/-) mice expressed more OPN and developed worse liver fibrosis (P < 0.05) than WT mice, whereas OPN-deficient mice exhibited reduced fibrosis (P < 0.05). In NASH patients, OPN was significantly up-regulated and correlated with Hh pathway activity and fibrosis stage. During NASH, ductular cells strongly expressed OPN. In cultured HSCs, SAG (an Hh agonist) up-regulated, whereas cyclopamine (an Hh antagonist) repressed OPN expression (P < 0.005). Cholangiocyte-derived OPN and recombinant OPN promoted fibrogenic responses in HSCs (P < 0.05); neutralizing OPN with RNA aptamers attenuated this (P < 0.05).OPN is Hh-regulated and directly promotes profibrogenic responses. OPN induction correlates with Hh pathway activity and fibrosis stage. Therefore, OPN inhibition may be beneficial in NASH.
Project description:Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) plays a central role in incorporating plasma lipids into tissues and regulates lipid metabolism and energy balance in the human body. Conversely, LPL expression is almost absent in normal adult livers. Therefore, its physiological role in the liver remains unknown. We aimed to elucidate the role of LPL in the pathophysiology of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a hepatic manifestation of obesity. Hepatic stellate cell (HSC)-specific LPL-knockout (<i>Lpl<sup>HSC-KO</sup></i> ) mice, LPL-floxed (<i>Lpl<sup>fl/fl</sup></i> ) mice, or double-mutant toll-like receptor 4-deficient (<i>Tlr4<sup>-/-</sup></i> ) <i>Lpl<sup>HSC-KO</sup></i> mice were fed a high-fat/high-cholesterol diet for 4 weeks to establish the nonalcoholic fatty liver model or an high-fat/high-cholesterol diet for 24 weeks to establish the NASH model. Human samples, derived from patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, were also examined. In human and mouse NASH livers, serum obesity-related factors, such as free fatty acid, leptin, and interleukin-6, dramatically increased the expression of LPL, specifically in HSCs through signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 signaling, as opposed to that in hepatocytes or hepatic macrophages. In the NASH mouse model, liver fibrosis was significantly reduced in <i>Lpl<sup>HSC-KO</sup></i> mice compared with that in <i>Lpl<sup>fl/fl</sup></i> mice. Nonenzymatic LPL-mediated cholesterol uptake from serum lipoproteins enhanced the accumulation of free cholesterol in HSCs, which amplified TLR4 signaling, resulting in the activation of HSCs and progression of hepatic fibrosis in NASH. <i>Conclusion</i>: The present study reveals the pathophysiological role of LPL in the liver, and furthermore, clarifies the pathophysiology in which obesity, as a background factor, exacerbates NASH. The LPL-mediated HSC activation pathway could be a promising therapeutic target for treating liver fibrosis in NASH.
Project description:The metabolic pathway of de novo lipogenesis is frequently upregulated in human liver tumours, and its upregulation is associated with poor prognosis. Blocking lipogenesis in cultured liver cancer cells is sufficient to decrease cell viability; however, it is not known whether blocking lipogenesis in vivo can prevent liver tumorigenesis. Herein, we inhibit hepatic lipogenesis in mice by liver-specific knockout of acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) genes and treat the mice with the hepatocellular carcinogen diethylnitrosamine (DEN). Unexpectedly, mice lacking hepatic lipogenesis have a twofold increase in tumour incidence and multiplicity compared to controls. Metabolomics analysis of ACC-deficient liver identifies a marked increase in antioxidants including NADPH and reduced glutathione. Importantly, supplementing primary wild-type hepatocytes with glutathione precursors improves cell survival following DEN treatment to a level indistinguishable from ACC-deficient primary hepatocytes. This study shows that lipogenesis is dispensable for liver tumorigenesis in mice treated with DEN, and identifies an important role for ACC enzymes in redox regulation and cell survival.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and resulting nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are reaching global epidemic proportions. Lack of non-invasive diagnostic tools and effective therapies constitute two of the major hurdles for a bona fide treatment and a reversal of NASH progression and/or regression of the disease. Nitro-oleic acid (OA-NO2) has been proven effective in multiple experimental models of inflammation and fibrosis. Thus, the potential benefit of in vivo administration of OA-NO2 to treat advanced NAFLD was tested herein in a model of long-term NASH diet-induced liver damage. METHODS:Non-invasive imaging (e.g. photoacustic-ultrasound (PA-US)) was pursued to establish advanced experimental model of NASH in mice in which both steatosis and fibrosis were diagnosed prior experimental therapy with OA-NO2. Experimental controls included equimolar amounts of the non-nitrated oleic acid (OA). CLAMS and NMR-based analysis was used for energy metabolism. FINDINGS:CLAMS and NMR-based analysis demonstrates that OA-NO2 improves body composition and energy metabolism and inhibits hepatic triglyceride (TG) accumulation. Photoacoustic-ultrasound imaging revealed a robust inhibition of liver steatosis and fibrosis by OA-NO2. RNA-sequencing analysis uncovered inflammation and fibrosis as major pathways suppressed by OA-NO2 administration, as well as regulation of lipogenesis and lipolysis pathways, with a robust inhibition of SREBP1 proteolytic activation and subsequent lipogenesis gene expression by OA-NO2. These results were further supported by histological analysis and quantification of lipid accumulation, lobular inflammation (F4/80 staining) and fibrosis (collagen deposition, ?SMA staining) as well as established parameters of liver damage (ALT). In vitro studies indicate that OA-NO2 inhibits TG biosynthesis and accumulation in hepatocytes and inhibits fibrogenesis in human stellate cells. INTERPRETATION:OA-NO2 improve steatohepatitis and fibrosis and may constitute an effective therapeutic approach against advanced NAFLD that warrants further clinical evaluation.