Lower brown adipose tissue activity is associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease but not changes in the gut microbiota
ABSTRACT: In rodents, brown adipose tissue (BAT) contributes to whole body energy expenditure and low BAT activity is related to hepatic fat accumulation, partially attributable to the gut microbiome. Little is known of these relationships in humans. In adults (n=60), we assessed hepatic fat and cold-stimulated BAT activity utilizing magnetic resonance imaging and the gut microbiome with 16S sequencing. We transplanted gnotobiotic mice with feces from humans to assess the transferability of BAT activity and NAFLD through the microbiome. Individuals with NAFLD (n=29) had lower BAT activity than those without and BAT activity was inversely related to hepatic fat. Although the fecal microbiome was different in those with NAFLD, no differences were observed in relation to BAT activity and neither of these phenotypic traits were transmissible through fecal transplant to gnotobiotic mice. Thus, low BAT activity is associated with hepatic steatosis but this is not mediated through the gut microbiota. Overall design: 60 stool samples from human adults. For the microbial transfer to mice; we used 9 NAFLD-/H-BAT + and 13 NAFLD+/L-BAT-.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), largely studied as a condition of overnutrition, also presents in undernourished populations. Like NAFLD, undernutrition disrupts systemic metabolism and has been linked to gut microbiota dysbiosis. Indeed, chronic exposures to fecal microbes contribute to undernutrition pathology in regions with poor sanitation. Despite a growing prevalence of fatty liver disease, the influence of undernutrition and the gut microbiota remain largely unexplored. Here, we utilize an established murine model (C57BL/6J mice placed on a malnourished diet that received iterative Escherichia coli/Bacteroidales gavage [MBG mice]) that combines a protein/fat-deficient diet and iterative exposure to specific, fecal microbes. Fecal-oral contamination exacerbates triglyceride accumulation in undernourished mice. MBG livers exhibit diffuse lipidosis accompanied by striking shifts in fatty acid, glycerophospholipid, and retinol metabolism. Multiomic analyses revealed metabolomic pathways linked to the undernourished gut microbiome and hepatic steatosis, including phenylacetate metabolism. Intriguingly, fatty liver features were observed only in the early-life, but not adult, MBG model despite similar liver metabolomic profiles. Importantly, we demonstrate that dietary intervention largely mitigates aberrant metabolomic and microbiome features in MBG mice. These findings indicate a crucial window in early-life development that, when disrupted by nutritional deficiency, may significantly influence liver function. Our work provides a multifaceted study of how diet and gut microbes inform fatty liver progression and reversal during undernutrition.IMPORTANCE Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) remains a global epidemic, but it is often studied in the context of obesity and aging. Nutritional deficits, however, also trigger hepatic steatosis, influencing health trajectories in undernourished pediatric populations. Here, we report that exposure to specific gut microbes impacts fatty liver pathology in mice fed a protein/fat-deficient diet. We utilize a multiomics approach to (i) characterize NAFLD in the context of early undernutrition and (ii) examine the impact of diet and gut microbes in the pathology and reversal of hepatic steatosis. We provide compelling evidence that an early-life, critical development window facilitates undernutrition-induced fatty liver pathology. Moreover, we demonstrate that sustained dietary intervention largely reverses fatty liver features and microbiome shifts observed during early-life malnutrition.
Project description:SCOPE:As a result of the obesity epidemic, the prevalence of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is increasing. No drug is approved for the treatment of NASH. In this study, the effect of a nutritional supplement, Mastiha or Chios mastic gum, on metabolic and histological parameters and on the gut microbiome in mice with NASH and fibrosis was investigated. METHODS AND RESULTS:Advanced NASH was induced by feeding C57BL/6J mice a diet rich in fat, sucrose, and cholesterol for 41 weeks. After randomization, animals received the NASH-inducing diet with or without 0.2% (w/w) Mastiha for a further 8 weeks. Disease activity was assessed by liver histology and determination of plasma transaminase activities. Fecal microbiota DNA extraction and 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing were used to determine the composition of the gut microbiome. Mastiha supplementation led to a significant reduction in circulating alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity, improvement in hepatic steatosis and collagen content, and a reduction in NAFLD activity score. Furthermore, it resulted in a partial but significant recovery of gut microbiota diversity and changes in identity and abundance of specific taxa. CONCLUSION:This is the first study demonstrating an improvement in disease activity in mice with advanced NASH with fibrosis by a diet containing Mastiha.
Project description:Evidence for the role of the gut microbiome in the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is emerging. Strategies to manipulate the gut microbiota towards a healthier community structure are actively being investigated. Based on their ability to favorably modulate the gut microbiota, prebiotics may provide an inexpensive yet effective dietary treatment for NAFLD. Additionally, prebiotics have established benefits for glucose control and potentially weight control, both advantageous in managing fatty liver disease. Our objective is to evaluate the effects of prebiotic supplementation, adjunct to those achieved with diet-induced weight loss, on heptic injury and liver fat, the gut microbiota, inflammation, glucose tolerance, and satiety in patients with NAFLD.In a double blind, placebo controlled, parallel group study, adults (BMI ?25) with confirmed NAFLD will be randomized to either a 16 g/d prebiotic supplemented group or isocaloric placebo group for 24 weeks (n?=?30/group). All participants will receive individualized dietary counseling sessions with a registered dietitian to achieve 10 % weight loss. Primary outcome measures include change in hepatic injury (fibrosis and inflammation) and liver fat. Secondary outcomes include change in body composition, appetite and dietary adherence, glycemic and insulinemic responses and inflammatory cytokines. Mechanisms related to prebiotic-induced changes in gut microbiota (shot-gun sequencing) and their metabolic by-products (volatile organic compounds) and de novo lipogenesis (using deuterium incorporation) will also be investigated.There are currently no medications or surgical procedures approved for the treatment of NAFLD and weight loss via lifestyle modification remains the cornerstone of current care recommendations. Given that prebiotics target multiple metabolic impairments associated with NAFLD, investigating their ability to modulate the gut microbiota and hepatic health in patients with NAFLD is warranted.ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02568605) Registered 30 September 2015.
Project description:Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the hepatic manifestation of dysregulated lipid and glucose metabolism, which is often associated with obesity, dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. In view of the high morbidity and health risks of NAFLD, the lack of effective cure has drawn great attention. In recent years, a line of evidence has suggested a close linkage between the intestine and liver diseases such as NAFLD. We summarized the composition and characteristics of intestinal microbes and reviewed molecular insights into the intestinal microbiome in development and progression of NAFLD. Intestinal microbes mainly include bacteria, archaea, viruses and fungi, and the crosstalk between non-bacterial intestinal microbes and human liver diseases should be paid more attention. Intestinal microbiota imbalance may not only increase the intestinal permeability to gut microbes but also lead to liver exposure to harmful substances that promote hepatic lipogenesis and fibrosis. Furthermore, we focused on reviewing the latest "gut-liver axis"-targeting treatment, including the application of antibiotics, probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, farnesoid X receptor agonists, bile acid sequestrants, gut-derived hormones, adsorbents and fecal microbiota transplantation for NAFLD. In this review, we also discussed the potential mechanisms of "gut-liver axis" manipulation and efficacy of these therapeutic strategies for NAFLD treatment.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major worldwide health problem. Recent studies suggest that the gut microbiota influences NAFLD pathogenesis. Here, a murine model of high-fat diet-induced (HFD-induced) NAFLD was used, and the effects of alterations in the gut microbiota on NAFLD were determined. Mice treated with antibiotics or tempol exhibited altered bile acid composition, with a notable increase in conjugated bile acid metabolites that inhibited intestinal farnesoid X receptor (FXR) signaling. Compared with control mice, animals with intestine-specific Fxr disruption had reduced hepatic triglyceride accumulation in response to a HFD. The decrease in hepatic triglyceride accumulation was mainly due to fewer circulating ceramides, which was in part the result of lower expression of ceramide synthesis genes. The reduction of ceramide levels in the ileum and serum in tempol- or antibiotic-treated mice fed a HFD resulted in downregulation of hepatic SREBP1C and decreased de novo lipogenesis. Administration of C16:0 ceramide to antibiotic-treated mice fed a HFD reversed hepatic steatosis. These studies demonstrate that inhibition of an intestinal FXR/ceramide axis mediates gut microbiota-associated NAFLD development, linking the microbiome, nuclear receptor signaling, and NAFLD. This work suggests that inhibition of intestinal FXR is a potential therapeutic target for NAFLD treatment.
Project description:The gut microbiota plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Increased fructose consumption and inadequate copper intake are two critical risk factors in the development of NAFLD. To gain insight into the role of gut microbiota, fecal metabolites, obtained from rats exposed to different dietary levels of copper with and without high fructose intake for 4 weeks, were analyzed by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC × GC-TOF MS). In parallel, liver tissues were assessed by histology and triglyceride assay. Our data showed that high fructose feeding led to obvious hepatic steatosis in both marginal copper deficient rats and copper supplementation rats. Among the 38 metabolites detected with significant abundance alteration between groups, short chain fatty acids were markedly decreased with excessive fructose intake irrespective of copper levels. C15:0 and C17:0 long chain fatty acids, produced only by bacteria, were increased by either high copper level or high fructose intake. In addition, increased fecal urea and malic acid paralleled the increased hepatic fat accumulation. Collectively, GC × GC-TOF MS analysis of rat fecal samples revealed distinct fecal metabolome profiles associated with the dietary high fructose and copper level, with some metabolites possibly serving as potential noninvasive biomarkers of fructose induced-NAFLD.
Project description:A high-fat "Western-style" diet (HFWD) promotes obesity-related conditions including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), the histologic manifestation of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In addition to high saturated fat and processed carbohydrates, the typical HFWD is deficient in calcium. Calcium-deficiency is an independent risk factor for many conditions associated with the Western-style diet. However, calcium has not been widely evaluated in the context of NAFLD. The goal of the present study was to determine if dietary calcium supplementation could protect mice fed a HFWD from NAFLD, specifically by decreasing non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and its down-stream consequences. Male C57BL/6NCrl mice were maintained for 18-months on a HFWD containing dietary calcium at either 0.41 gm/kg feed (unsupplemented) or 5.25 gm/kg feed (supplemented). Although there was no difference in body weight or steatosis, calcium-supplemented mice were protected against downstream consequences of hepatic steatosis, manifested by lower inflammation, less fibrosis, and by lower overall histologic NAFLD activity scores (NAS). Calcium supplementation correlated with distinctly segregating gut fecal and cecal microbial communities as defined by 16S rRNA gene sequence. Further, calcium supplementation also correlated with decreased hepatic concentration of the major conjugated murine primary bile acid, tauro-?-muricholic acid (as well as a decrease in the parent unconjugated bile acid). Thus, calcium was protective against progression of diet-induced hepatic steatosis to NASH and end-stage liver disease, suggesting that calcium supplementation may effectively protect against adverse hepatic consequences of HFWD in cases where overall diet modification cannot be sustained. This protective effect occurred in concert with calcium-mediated gut microbial community shifts and alterations of the hepatic bile acid pool.
Project description:Previous studies have shown that gut-microbiome is associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We aimed to examine if serum metabolites, especially those derived from the gut-microbiome, have a shared gene-effect with hepatic steatosis and fibrosis. This is a cross-sectional analysis of a prospective discovery cohort including 156 well-characterized twins and families with untargeted metabolome profiling assessment. Hepatic steatosis was assessed using magnetic-resonance-imaging proton-density-fat-fraction (MRI-PDFF) and fibrosis using MR-elastography (MRE). A twin additive genetics and unique environment effects (AE) model was used to estimate the shared gene-effect between metabolites and hepatic steatosis and fibrosis. The findings were validated in an independent prospective validation cohort of 156 participants with biopsy-proven NAFLD including shotgun metagenomics sequencing assessment in a subgroup of the cohort. In the discovery cohort, 56 metabolites including 6 microbial metabolites had a significant shared gene-effect with both hepatic steatosis and fibrosis after adjustment for age, sex and ethnicity. In the validation cohort, 6 metabolites were associated with advanced fibrosis. Among them, only one microbial metabolite, 3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)lactate, remained consistent and statistically significantly associated with liver fibrosis in the discovery and validation cohort (fold-change of higher-MRE versus lower-MRE: 1.78, P < 0.001 and of advanced versus no advanced fibrosis: 1.26, P = 0.037, respectively). The share genetic determination of 3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)lactate with hepatic steatosis was RG :0.57,95%CI:0.27-0.80, P < 0.001 and with fibrosis was RG :0.54,95%CI:0.036-1, P = 0.036. Pathway reconstruction linked 3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)lactate to several human gut-microbiome species. In the validation cohort, 3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)lactate was significantly correlated with the abundance of several gut-microbiome species, belonging only to Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria phyla, previously reported as associated with advanced fibrosis. Conclusion: This proof of concept study provides evidence of a link between the gut-microbiome and 3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)lactate that shares gene-effect with hepatic steatosis and fibrosis. (Hepatology 2018).
Project description:The presence of cirrhosis in nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease (NAFLD) is the most important predictor of liver-related mortality. Limited data exist concerning the diagnostic accuracy of gut-microbiome-derived signatures for detecting NAFLD-cirrhosis. Here we report 16S gut-microbiome compositions of 203 uniquely well-characterized participants from a prospective twin and family cohort, including 98 probands encompassing the entire spectrum of NAFLD and 105 of their first-degree relatives, assessed by advanced magnetic-resonance-imaging. We show strong familial correlation of gut-microbiome profiles, driven by shared housing. We report a panel of 30 features, including 27 bacterial features with discriminatory ability to detect NAFLD-cirrhosis using a Random Forest classifier model. In a derivation cohort of probands, the model has a robust diagnostic accuracy (AUROC of 0.92) for detecting NAFLD-cirrhosis, confirmed in a validation cohort of relatives of proband with NAFLD-cirrhosis (AUROC of 0.87). This study provides evidence for a fecal-microbiome-derived signature to detect NAFLD-cirrhosis.
Project description:Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome; its rising prevalence parallels the rise in obesity and diabetes. Historically thought to result from overnutrition and a sedentary lifestyle, recent evidence suggests that diets high in sugar (from sucrose and/or high-fructose corn syrup [HFCS]) not only increase the risk of NAFLD, but also non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Herein, we review the experimental and clinical evidence that fructose precipitates fat accumulation in the liver, due to both increased lipogenesis and impaired fat oxidation. Recent evidence suggests that the predisposition to fatty liver is linked to the metabolism of fructose by fructokinase C, which results in ATP consumption, nucleotide turnover and uric acid generation that mediate fat accumulation. Alterations to gut permeability, the microbiome, and associated endotoxemia contribute to the risk of NAFLD and NASH. Early clinical studies suggest that reducing sugary beverages and total fructose intake, especially from added sugars, may have a significant benefit on reducing hepatic fat accumulation. We suggest larger, more definitive trials to determine if lowering sugar/HFCS intake, and/or blocking uric acid generation, may help reduce NAFLD and its downstream complications of cirrhosis and chronic liver disease.