A barrier to drug development for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the absence of translational preclinical human-relevant systems. An in vitro liver model was engineered to incorporate hepatic sinusoidal flow, transport, and lipotoxic stress risk factors (glucose, insulin, free fatty acids) with cocultured primary human hepatocytes, hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), and macrophages. Transcriptomic, lipidomic, and functional endpoints were evaluated and compared with clinical data from NASH patient biopsies. The lipotoxic milieu promoted hepatocyte lipid accumulation (4-fold increase,
Ryan E. Feaver, Banumathi K. Cole, Mark J. Lawson, Stephen A. Hoang, Svetlana Marukian, Brett R. Blackman, Robert A. Figler, Arun J. Sanyal, Brian R. Wamhoff, Ajit Dash
Aberrant wnt/β-catenin signaling and amplification/overexpression of Myc are associated with hepatoblastoma (HB), the most prevalent type of childhood liver cancer. To address their roles in the pathogenesis of HB, we generated mice in which Myc and mutant β-catenin were targeted to immature cells of the developing mouse liver. Perinatal coexpression of both genes promoted the preferential development of HBs over other tumor types in neonatal mice, all of which bore striking resemblance to their human counterparts. Integrated analysis indicated that tumors emerged as a consequence of Myc-driven alterations in hepatoblast fate in a background of pan-hepatic injury, inflammation, and nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2/Nrf2-dependent antioxidant signaling, which was specifically associated with expression of mutant β-catenin but not Myc. Immunoprofiling of human HBs confirmed that approximately 50% of tumors demonstrated aberrant activation of either Myc or Nfe2l2/Nrf2, while knockdown of Nrf2 in a cell line–derived from a human HB with
Sarah A. Comerford, Elizabeth A. Hinnant, Yidong Chen, Hima Bansal, Shawn Klapproth, Dinesh Rakheja, Milton J. Finegold, Dolores Lopez-Terrada, Kathryn A. O’Donnell, Gail E. Tomlinson, Robert E. Hammer
The prevalence of fatty liver reaches alarming proportions. Fatty liver increases the risk for insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Although extensively studied in a preclinical setting, the lack of noninvasive methodologies hampers our understanding of which pathways promote hepatic fat accumulation in humans. Dietary fat retention is one of the pathways that may lead to fatty liver. The low (1.1%) natural abundance (NA) of carbon-13 (13C) allows use of 13C-enriched lipids for in vivo MR studies. Successful implementation of such methodology, however, is challenging due to low sensitivity of 13C-magnetic resonance spectroscopy (13C-MRS). Here, we investigated the use of 1-dimensional gradient enhanced heteronuclear single quantum coherence (ge-HSQC) spectroscopy for the in vivo detection of hepatic 1H-[13C]-lipid signals after a single high-fat meal with 13C-labeled fatty acids in 5 lean and 6 obese subjects. Postprandial retention of orally administered 13C-labeled fatty acids was significant (
Lucas Lindeboom, Robin A. de Graaf, Christine I. Nabuurs, Petronella A. van Ewijk, Matthijs K.C. Hesselink, Joachim E. Wildberger, Patrick Schrauwen, Vera B. Schrauwen-Hinderling
Liver fibrosis, a consequence of chronic liver injury and a way station to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, lacks effective treatment. Endocannabinoids acting via cannabinoid-1 receptors (CB1R) induce profibrotic gene expression and promote pathologies that predispose to liver fibrosis. CB1R antagonists produce opposite effects, but their therapeutic development was halted due to neuropsychiatric side effects. Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) also promotes liver fibrosis and its underlying pathologies, but iNOS inhibitors tested to date showed limited therapeutic efficacy in inflammatory diseases. Here, we introduce a peripherally restricted, orally bioavailable CB1R antagonist, which accumulates in liver to release an iNOS inhibitory leaving group. In mouse models of fibrosis induced by CCl4 or bile duct ligation, the hybrid CB1R/iNOS antagonist surpassed the antifibrotic efficacy of the CB1R antagonist rimonabant or the iNOS inhibitor 1400W, without inducing anxiety-like behaviors or CB1R occupancy in the CNS. The hybrid inhibitor also targeted CB1R-independent, iNOS-mediated profibrotic pathways, including increased PDGF, Nlrp3/Asc3, and integrin αvβ6 signaling, as judged by its ability to inhibit these pathways in cnr1–/– but not in nos2–/– mice. Additionally, it was able to slow fibrosis progression and to attenuate established fibrosis. Thus, dual-target peripheral CB1R/iNOS antagonists have therapeutic potential in liver fibrosis.
Resat Cinar, Malliga R. Iyer, Ziyi Liu, Zongxian Cao, Tony Jourdan, Katalin Erdelyi, Grzegorz Godlewski, Gergő Szanda, Jie Liu, Joshua K. Park, Bani Mukhopadhyay, Avi Z. Rosenberg, Jeih-San Lieow, Robin G. Lorenz, Pal Pacher, Robert B. Innis, George Kunos
Infections are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with decompensated cirrhosis and ascites. Hypothesizing that innate immune dysfunction contributes to susceptibility to infection, we assessed ascitic fluid macrophage phenotype and function. The expression of complement receptor of the immunoglobulin superfamily (CRIg) and CCR2 defined two phenotypically and functionally distinct peritoneal macrophage subpopulations. The proportion of CRIghi macrophages differed between patients and in the same patient over time, and a high proportion of CRIghi macrophages was associated with reduced disease severity (model for end-stage liver disease) score. As compared with CRIglo macrophages, CRIghi macrophages were highly phagocytic and displayed enhanced antimicrobial effector activity. Transcriptional profiling by RNA sequencing and comparison with human macrophage and murine peritoneal macrophage expression signatures highlighted similarities among CRIghi cells, human macrophages, and mouse F4/80hi resident peritoneal macrophages and among CRIglo macrophages, human monocytes, and mouse F4/80lo monocyte-derived peritoneal macrophages. These data suggest that CRIghi and CRIglo macrophages may represent a tissue-resident population and a monocyte-derived population, respectively. In conclusion, ascites fluid macrophage subset distribution and phagocytic capacity is highly variable among patients with chronic liver disease. Regulating the numbers and/or functions of these macrophage populations could provide therapeutic opportunities in cirrhotic patients.
Katharine M. Irvine, Xuan Banh, Victoria L. Gadd, Kyle K. Wojcik, Juliana K. Ariffin, Sara Jose, Samuel Lukowski, Gregory J. Baillie, Matthew J. Sweet, Elizabeth E. Powell
Secreted by activated cells or passively released by damaged cells, extracellular HMGB1 is a prototypical damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) inflammatory mediator. During the course of developing extracorporeal approaches to treating injury and infection, we inadvertently discovered that haptoglobin, the acute phase protein that binds extracellular hemoglobin and targets cellular uptake through CD163, also binds HMGB1. Haptoglobin-HMGB1 complexes elicit the production of antiinflammatory enzymes (heme oxygenase-1) and cytokines (e.g., IL-10) in WT but not in CD163-deficient macrophages. Genetic disruption of haptoglobin or CD163 expression significantly enhances mortality rates in standardized models of intra-abdominal sepsis in mice. Administration of haptoglobin to WT and to haptoglobin gene-deficient animals confers significant protection. These findings reveal a mechanism for haptoglobin modulation of the inflammatory action of HMGB1, with significant implications for developing experimental strategies targeting HMGB1-dependent inflammatory diseases.
Huan Yang, Haichao Wang, Yaakov A. Levine, Manoj K. Gunasekaran, Yongjun Wang, Meghan Addorisio, Shu Zhu, Wei Li, Jianhua Li, Dominique P.V. de Kleijn, Peder S. Olofsson, H. Shaw Warren, Mingzhu He, Yousef Al-Abed, Jesse Roth, Daniel J. Antoine, Sangeeta S. Chavan, Ulf Andersson, Kevin J. Tracey
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