Metformin regulates palmitate-induced apoptosis and ER stress response in HepG2 liver cells.
ABSTRACT The excessive supply of fatty acids to the liver contributes to hepatic insulin resistance and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress associated with obesity or type 2 diabetes mellitus. Furthermore, excess and/or prolonged ER stress contributes to hepatic cell death deteriorating nonalcoholic fatty liver disease to steatohepatitis. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of metformin on palmitate-induced ER stress and hepatic insulin resistance in HepG2 cells. Metformin significantly inhibited palmitate-induced cell death and apoptosis via caspase-3 activation. Metformin also blocked the induction of ER stress proteins (GRP78, Chop, Cleaved ATF-6, p-eIF2 alpha and XBP-1) and regulated serine phosphorylation of IRS-1. Metformin may therefore protect hepatocytes from death induced by saturated fatty acids. These data may also provide a further rationale for exploring the use of metformin in the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, revealing its blocking effect for hepatic insulin resistance evoked by saturated fatty acids.
Article: Effect of α-linolenic acid on endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated apoptosis of palmitic acid lipotoxicity in primary rat hepatocytes.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Hepatic inflammation and degeneration induced by lipid depositions may be the major cause of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In this study, we investigated the effects of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids (FA) on apoptosis in primary rat hepatocytes. The primary rat hepatocytes were treated with palmitic acid and/or α-linolenic acid in vitro. The expression of proteins associated with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, apoptosis, caspase-3 levels were detected after the treatment. The treatment with palmitic acid produced a significant increase in cell death. The unfolded protein response (UPR)-associated genes CHOP, GRP78, and GRP94 were induced to higher expression levels by palmitic acid. Co-treatment with α-linolenic acid reversed the apoptotic effect and levels of all three indicators of ER stress exerted by palmitic acid. Tunicamycin, which induces ER stress produced similar effects to those obtained using palmitic acid; its effects were also reversed by α-linolenic acid. α-Linolenic acid may provide a useful strategy to avoid the lipotoxicity of dietary palmitic acid and nutrient overload accompanied with obesity and NAFLD.Lipids in Health and Disease 01/2011; 10:122. · 2.17 Impact Factor
Article: GLP-1 analogs reduce hepatocyte steatosis and improve survival by enhancing the unfolded protein response and promoting macroautophagy.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a known outcome of hepatosteatosis. Free fatty acids (FFA) induce the unfolded protein response (UPR) or endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress that may induce apoptosis. Recent data indicate ER stress to be a major player in the progression of fatty liver to more aggressive lesions. Autophagy on the other hand has been demonstrated to be protective against ER stress-induced cell death. We hypothesized that exendin-4 (GLP-1 analog) treatment of fat loaded hepatocytes can reduce steatosis by autophagy which leads to reduced ER stress-related hepatocyte apoptosis. Primary human hepatocytes were loaded with saturated, cis- and trans-unsaturated fatty acids (palmitic, oleic and elaidic acid respectively). Steatosis, induced with all three fatty acids, was significantly resolved after exendin-4 treatment. Exendin-4 sustained levels of GRP78 expression in fat-loaded cells when compared to untreated fat-loaded cells alone. In contrast, CHOP (C/EBP homologous protein); the penultimate protein that leads to ER stress-related cell death was significantly decreased by exendin-4 in hepatocytes loaded with fatty acids. Finally, exendin-4 in fat loaded hepatocytes clearly promoted gene products associated with macroautophagy as measured by enhanced production of both Beclin-1 and LC3B-II, markers for autophagy; and visualized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Similar observations were made in mouse liver lysates after mice were fed with high fat high fructose diet and treated with a long acting GLP-1 receptor agonist, liraglutide. GLP-1 proteins appear to protect hepatocytes from fatty acid-related death by prohibition of a dysfunctional ER stress response; and reduce fatty acid accumulation, by activation of both macro-and chaperone-mediated autophagy. These findings provide a novel role for GLP-1 proteins in halting the progression of more aggressive lesions from underlying steatosis in humans afflicted with NAFLD.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(9):e25269. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Hepatic inflammation and degeneration induced by lipid depositions may be the major cause of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. In this study, we tried to investigate the effects of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids on hepatoma cell apoptosis. H4IIE liver cells were treated with palmitic acid, linoleic acid, or both with or without the calcium-specific chelator BAPTA-AM after which the expression of proteins associated with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, apoptosis, caspase-3 levels, and calcium flux were measured. Palmitic or linoleic acid (250 μM) induced H4IIE cell apoptosis, which required calcium flux but not caspase-3. Apoptosis was not observed when cells were co-treated with linoleic acid (125 μM) and palmitic acid (250 μM). Importantly, the release of cytochrome C from mitochondria into cytoplasm during cell apoptosis was specifically detected only when linoleic acid (125 μM), but not palmitic acid (250 μM), was added to the cells. Depletion of intracellular calcium flux by the calcium-specific chelator, BAPTA-AM, abolished linoleic acid-induced apoptosis. Moreover, in the presence of BAPTA-AM, expression of the unfolded protein response (UPR)-associated genes, CHOP, GRP78, and GRP94, was induced by linoleic acid, but not palmitic acid. The results suggest that linoleic acid promotes cell apoptosis through the release of cytochrome C, only if the intracellular calcium flux is unperturbed and intact. These results confirm that ER stress contributes to fatty acid-induced liver cell apoptosis.Lipids in Health and Disease 01/2012; 11:1. · 2.17 Impact Factor