[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alcoholic liver disease has been clinically well described, but the molecular mechanisms leading to hepatotoxicity have not been fully elucidated. Previously, we determined that microtubules are hyperacetylated and more stable in ethanol-treated WIF-B cells, VL-17A cells, liver slices, and in livers from ethanol-fed rats. From our recent studies, we believe that these modifications can explain alcohol-induced defects in microtubule motor-dependent protein trafficking including nuclear translocation of a subset of transcription factors. Since cytoplasmic dynein/dynactin is known to mediate both microtubule-dependent translocation and basolateral to apical/canalicular transcytosis, we predicted that transcytosis is impaired in ethanol-treated hepatic cells. We monitored transcytosis of three classes of newly synthesized canalicular proteins in polarized, hepatic WIF-B cells, an emerging model system for the study of liver disease. As predicted, canalicular delivery of all proteins tested was impaired in ethanol-treated cells. Unlike in control cells, transcytosing proteins were observed in discrete sub-canalicular puncta en route to the canalicular surface that aligned along acetylated microtubules. We further determined that the stalled transcytosing proteins colocalized with dynein/dynactin in treated cells. No changes in vesicle association were observed for either dynein or dynactin in ethanol-treated cells, but significantly enhanced dynein binding to microtubules was observed. From these results, we propose that enhanced dynein binding to microtubules in ethanol-treated cells leads to decreased motor processivity resulting in vesicle stalling and in impaired canalicular delivery. Our studies also importantly indicate that modulating cellular acetylation levels with clinically tolerated deacetylase agonists may be a novel therapeutic strategy for treating alcoholic liver disease.
Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 08/2014; · 2.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that chronic ethanol intake lowers hepatocellular S-adenosylmethionine to S-adenosylhomocysteine ratio and significantly impairs many liver methylation reactions. One such reaction, catalyzed by guanidinoacetate methyltransferase (GAMT), is a major consumer of methyl groups and utilizes as much as 40% of the SAM-derived groups to convert guanidinoacetate (GAA) to creatine. The exposure to methyl-group consuming compounds has substantially increased over the past decade that puts additional stresses on the cellular methylation potential. The purpose of our study was to investigate whether increased ingestion of a methyl-group consumer (GAA) either alone or combined with ethanol intake, plays a role in the pathogenesis of liver injury. Adult male Wistar rats were pair-fed the Lieber DeCarli control or ethanol diet in the presence or absence of GAA for 2weeks. At the end of the feeding regimen, biochemical and histological analyses were conducted. We observed that 2weeks of GAA- or ethanol-alone treatment increases hepatic triglyceride accumulation by 4.5 and 7-fold, respectively as compared with the pair-fed controls. However, supplementing GAA in the ethanol diet produced panlobular macro- and micro-vesicular steatosis, a marked decrease in the methylation potential and a 28-fold increased triglyceride accumulation. These GAA-supplemented ethanol diet-fed rats displayed inflammatory changes and significantly increased liver toxicity compared to the other groups. In conclusion, increased methylation demand superimposed on chronic ethanol consumption causes more pronounced liver injury. Thus, alcoholic patients should be cautioned for increased dietary intake of methyl-group consuming compounds even for a short period of time.
Experimental and Molecular Pathology 05/2014; · 2.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that chronic ethanol intake lowers hepatocellular S-adenosylmethionine to S-adenosylhomocysteine ratio and significantly impairs many liver methylation reactions. One such reaction, catalyzed by guanidinoacetate methyltransferase (GAMT), is a major consumer of methyl groups and utilizes as much as 40% of the SAM-derived groups to convert guanidinoacetate (GAA) to creatine. The exposure to methyl-group consuming compounds has substantially increased over the past decade that puts additional stresses on the cellular methylation potential. The purpose of our study was to investigate whether increased ingestion of a methyl-group consumer (GAA) either alone or combined with ethanol intake, plays a role in the pathogenesis of liver injury. Adult male Wistar rats were pair-fed the Lieber DeCarli control or ethanol diet in the presence or absence of GAA for 2 weeks. At the end of the feeding regimen, biochemical and histological analyses were conducted. We observed that 2 weeks of GAA- or ethanol-alone treatment increases hepatic triglyceride accumulation by 4.5 and 7-fold, respectively as compared with the pair-fed controls. However, supplementing GAA in the ethanol diet produced panlobular macro- and micro-vesicular steatosis, a marked decrease in the methylation potential and a 28-fold increased triglyceride accumulation. These GAA-supplemented ethanol diet-fed rats displayed inflammatory changes and significantly increased liver toxicity compared to the other groups. In conclusion, increased methylation demand superimposed on chronic ethanol consumption causes more pronounced liver injury. Thus, alcoholic patients should be cautioned for increased dietary intake of methyl-group consuming compounds even for a short period of time.
Experimental and Molecular Pathology 01/2014; · 2.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that decreased S-adenosylmethionine (SAM):S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) ratio generated in livers of alcohol-fed rats can impair the activities of many SAM-dependent methyltransferases. One such methyltransferase is guanidinoacetate methyltransferase (GAMT) that catalyzes the last step of creatine synthesis. As GAMT is the major utilizer of SAM, the purpose of the study was to examine the effects of ethanol (EtOH) on liver creatine levels and GAMT activity.
Male Wistar rats were pair-fed the Lieber-DeCarli control and EtOH diet for 4 to 5 weeks. At the end of the feeding regimen, the liver, kidney, and blood were removed from these rats for subsequent biochemical analyses.
We observed ~60% decrease in creatine levels in the livers from EtOH-fed rats as compared to controls. The reduction in creatine levels correlated with lower SAM:SAH ratio observed in the livers of the EtOH-fed rats. Further, in vitro experiments with cell-free system and hepatic cells revealed it is indeed elevated SAH and lower SAM:SAH ratio that directly impairs GAMT activity and significantly reduces creatine synthesis. EtOH intake also slightly decreases the hepatocellular uptake of the creatine precursor, guanidinoacetate (GAA), and the GAMT enzyme expression that could additionally contribute to reduced liver creatine synthesis. The consequences of impaired hepatic creatine synthesis by chronic EtOH consumption include (i) increased toxicity due to GAA accumulation in the liver; (ii) reduced protection due to lower creatine levels in the liver, and (iii) reduced circulating and cardiac creatine levels.
Chronic EtOH consumption affects the hepatic creatine biosynthetic pathway leading to detrimental consequences not only in the liver but could also affect distal organs such as the heart that depend on a steady supply of creatine from the liver.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 11/2013; · 3.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alcoholic liver disease is manifested by the presence of fatty liver, primarily due to accumulation of hepatocellular lipid droplets (LDs). The presence of membrane-trafficking proteins (e.g., Rab GTPases) with LDs indicates that LDs may be involved in trafficking pathways known to be altered in ethanol (EtOH) damaged hepatocytes. As these Rab GTPases are crucial regulators of protein trafficking, we examined the effect EtOH administration has on hepatic Rab protein content and association with LDs.
Male Wistar rats were pair-fed Lieber-DeCarli diets for 5 to 8 weeks. Whole liver and isolated LD fractions were analyzed. Identification of LDs and associated Rab proteins was performed in frozen liver or paraffin-embedded sections followed by immunohistochemical analysis.
Lipid accumulation was characterized by larger LD vacuoles and increased total triglyceride content in EtOH-fed rats. Rabs 1, 2, 3d, 5, 7, and 18 were analyzed in postnuclear supernatant (PNS) as well as LDs. All of the Rabs were found in the PNS, and Rabs 1, 2, 5, and 7 did not show alcohol-altered content, while Rab 3d content was reduced by over 80%, and Rab 18 also showed EtOH-induced reduction in content. Rab 3d was not found to associate with LDs, while all other Rabs were found in the LD fractions, and several showed an EtOH-related decrease (Rabs 2, 5, 7, 18). Immunohistochemical analysis revealed the enhanced content of a LD-associated protein, perilipin 2 (PLIN2) that was paralleled with an associated decrease of Rab 18 in EtOH-fed rat sections.
Chronic EtOH feeding was associated with increased PLIN2 and altered Rab GTPase content in enriched LD fractions. Although mechanisms driving these changes are not established, further studies on intracellular protein trafficking and LD biology after alcohol administration will likely contribute to our understanding of fatty liver disease.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 10/2013; · 3.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatic fibrosis is characterized by excess collagen deposition, decreased extracellular matrix degradation and activation of the hepatic stellate cells. The hormone relaxin has shown promise in the treatment of fibrosis in a number of tissues, but the effect of relaxin on established hepatic fibrosis is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of relaxin on an in vivo model after establishing hepatic fibrosis METHODS: Male mice were made fibrotic by carbon tetrachloride treatment for 4 weeks, followed by treatment with two doses of relaxin (25 or 75 μg/kg/day) or vehicle for 4 weeks, with continued administration of carbon tetrachloride.
Relaxin significantly decreased total hepatic collagen and smooth muscle actin content at both doses, and suppressed collagen I expression at the higher dose. Relaxin increased the expression of the matrix metalloproteinases MMP13 and MMP3, decreased the expression of MMP2 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 2 (TIMP2) and increased the overall level of collagen-degrading activity. Relaxin decreased TGFβ-induced Smad2 nuclear localization in mouse hepatic stellate cells.
The results suggest that relaxin reduced collagen deposition and HSC activation in established hepatic fibrosis despite the presence of continued hepatic insult. This reduced fibrosis was associated with increased expression of the fibrillar collagen-degrading enzyme MMP13, decreased expression of TIMP2, and enhanced collagen-degrading activity, and impaired TGFβ signalling, consistent with relaxin's effects on activated fibroblastic cells. The results suggest that relaxin may be an effective treatment for the treatment of established hepatic fibrosis.
Liver international: official journal of the International Association for the Study of the Liver 06/2013; · 3.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: T cell activation and associated pro-inflammatory cytokine production is a pathological feature of inflammatory liver disease. It is also known that liver injury is associated with marked impairments in the function of many hepatic proteins including a hepatocyte-specific binding protein, the asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGPR). Recently, it has been suggested that hepatic ASGPRs may play an important role in the physiological regulation of T lymphocytes, leading to our hypothesis that ASGPR defects correlate with inflammatory-mediated events in liver diseases. Therefore, in this study we investigated whether changes in hepatocellular ASGPR expression were related to the dysregulation of intrahepatic T lymphocytes and correlate with the development of T-cell mediated hepatitis. Mice lacking functional ASGPRs (receptor-deficient, RD), and wild-type (WT) controls were intravenously injected with T-cell mitogens, Concanavalin A (Con A) or anti-CD3 antibody. As a result of T cell mitogen treatment, RD mice lacking hepatic ASGPRs displayed enhancements in liver pathology, transaminase activities, proinflammatory cytokine expression, and caspase activation compared to that observed in normal WT mice. Furthermore, FACS analysis demonstrated that T-cell mitogen administration resulted in a significant rise in the percentage of CD8+ lymphocytes present in the livers of RD animals versus WT mice. Since these two mouse strains differ only in whether they express the hepatic ASGPR, it can be concluded that proper ASGPR function exerts a protective effect against T cell mediated hepatitis and that impairments to this hepatic receptor could be related to the accumulation of cytotoxic T cells that are observed in inflammatory liver diseases.
International immunopharmacology 03/2013; · 2.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute and chronic ethanol administration increase autophagic vacuole (i.e., autophagosome; AV) content in liver cells. This enhancement depends on ethanol oxidation. Here, we used parental (nonmetabolizing) and recombinant (ethanol-metabolizing) Hep G2 cells to identify the ethanol metabolite that causes AV enhancement by quantifying AVs or their marker protein, microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3-II (LC3-II). The ethanol-elicited rise in LC3-II was dependent on ethanol dose, was seen only in cells that expressed alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and was augmented in cells that coexpressed cytochrome CYP2E1 (P450 2E1). Furthermore, the rise in LC3-II was inversely related to a decline in proteasome activity. AV flux measurements and colocalization of AVs with lysosomes or their marker protein Lysosomal-Associated Membrane Protein 1 (LAMP1) in ethanol-metabolizing VL-17A cells (ADH (+) /CYP2E1 (+) ) revealed that ethanol exposure not only enhanced LC3-II synthesis but also decreased its degradation. Ethanol-induced accumulation of LC3-II in these cells was similar to that induced by the microtubule inhibitor, nocodazole. After we treated cells with either 4-methylpyrazole to block ethanol oxidation or GSH-EE to scavenge reactive species, there was no enhancement of LC3-II by ethanol. Furthermore, regardless of their ethanol-metabolizing capacity, direct exposure of cells to acetaldehyde enhanced LC3-II content. We conclude that both ADH-generated acetaldehyde and CYP2E1-generated primary and secondary oxidants caused LC3-II accumulation, which rose not only from enhanced AV biogenesis, but also from decreased LC3 degradation by the proteasome and by lysosomes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although alcoholic liver disease is clinically well-described, the molecular basis for alcohol-induced hepatotoxicity is not well understood. Previously, we found that alcohol exposure led to increased microtubule acetylation and stability in polarized, hepatic WIF-B cells and in livers from ethanol-fed rats. Because microtubules are known to regulate transcription factor nuclear translocation, and that dynamic microtubules are required for translocation of at least a sub-set of these factors, we examined whether alcohol-induced microtubule acetylation and stability impairs nuclear translocation. We examined nuclear delivery of factors representing the two mechanisms by which microtubules regulate translocation. To represent factors that undergo directed delivery, we examined growth hormone-induced STAT5B translocation and interleukin-6-induced STAT3 translocation. To represent factors that are sequestered in the cytoplasm by microtubule attachment until ligand activation, we examined TGF-β-induced Smad2/3 translocation. We found that ethanol exposure selectively impaired the translocation of the STATs, but not Smad 2/3. STAT5B delivery was decreased to similar extents by addition of taxol (microtubule stabilizing drug) or trichostatin A (deacetylase inhibitor), agents that promote microtubule acetylation in the absence of alcohol. Thus, the alcohol-induced impairment of STAT nuclear translocation can be explained by increased microtubule acetylation and stability. Only ethanol-treatment impaired STAT5B activation, indicating that microtubules are not important for its activation by Jak2. Furthermore, nuclear exit was not changed in treated cells indicating this process is also independent of microtubule acetylation and stability. Together, these results raise the exciting possibility that deacetylase agonists may be effective therapeutics for the treatment of alcoholic liver disease.
AJP Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 10/2012; · 3.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction. Mitochondrial damage and disruption in oxidative phosphorylation contributes to the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver injury. Herein, we tested the hypothesis that the hepatoprotective actions of betaine against alcoholic liver injury occur at the level of the mitochondrial proteome. Methods. Male Wister rats were pair-fed control or ethanol-containing liquid diets supplemented with or without betaine (10 mg/mL) for 4-5 wks. Liver was examined for triglyceride accumulation, levels of methionine cycle metabolites, and alterations in mitochondrial proteins. Results. Chronic ethanol ingestion resulted in triglyceride accumulation which was attenuated in the ethanol plus betaine group. Blue native gel electrophoresis (BN-PAGE) revealed significant decreases in the content of the intact oxidative phosphorylation complexes in mitochondria from ethanol-fed animals. The alcohol-dependent loss in many of the low molecular weight oxidative phosphorylation proteins was prevented by betaine supplementation. This protection by betaine was associated with normalization of SAM : S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) ratios and the attenuation of the ethanol-induced increase in inducible nitric oxide synthase and nitric oxide generation in the liver. Discussion/Conclusion. In summary, betaine attenuates alcoholic steatosis and alterations to the oxidative phosphorylation system. Therefore, preservation of mitochondrial function may be another key molecular mechanism responsible for betaine hepatoprotection.
International journal of hepatology. 01/2012; 2012:962183.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ethanol administration has been shown to alter receptor-mediated endocytosis in the liver. We have developed a recombinant hepatic cell line stably transfected with murine alcohol dehydrogenase cDNA to serve as an in vitro model to investigate these ethanol-induced impairments. In the present study, transfected cells were maintained in the absence or presence of 25 mM ethanol for 7 days, and alterations in endocytosis by the asialoglycoprotein receptor were determined. The role of acetaldehyde in this dysfunction was also examined by inclusion of the aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitor, cyanamide. Our results showed that ethanol metabolism impaired internalization of asialoorosomucoid, a ligand for the asialoglycoprotein receptor. The addition of cyanamide potentiated the ethanol-induced defect in internalization and also impaired degradation of the ligand in the presence of ethanol. These results indicate that the ethanol-induced impairment in endocytosis is exacerbated by the inhibition of aldehyde dehydrogenase, suggesting the involvement of acetaldehyde in this dysfunction.
International journal of hepatology. 01/2012; 2012:954157.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Steatosis, an early manifestation in alcoholic liver disease, is associated with the accumulation of hepatocellular lipid droplets (LDs). However, the role ethanol metabolism has in LD formation and turnover remains undefined. Here, we assessed LD dynamics following ethanol and oleic acid treatment to ethanol-metabolizing WIF-B cells (a hybrid of human fibroblasts (WI 38) and Fao rat hepatoma cells). An OA dose-dependent increase in triglyceride and stained lipids was identified which doubled (P < 0.05) in the presence of ethanol. This effect was blunted with the inclusion of an alcohol metabolism inhibitor. The ethanol/ OA combination also induced adipophilin, LD coat protein involved in the attenuation of lipolysis. Additionally, ethanol treatment resulted in a significant reduction in lipid efflux. These data demonstrate that the metabolism of ethanol in hepatic cells is related to LD accumulation, impaired fat efflux, and enhancements in LD-associated proteins. These alterations in LD dynamics may contribute to ethanol-mediated defects in hepatocellular LD regulation and the formation of steatosis.
International journal of hepatology. 01/2012; 2012:978136.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The liver is the major site of ethanol metabolism and thus sustains the most injury from chronic alcohol consumption. Ethanol metabolism by the hepatocyte leads to the generation of reactive metabolites and oxygen radicals that can readily adduct DNA, lipids, and proteins. More recently, it has become apparent that ethanol consumption also leads to increased post-translational modifications of the natural repertoire, including lysine hyperacetylation. Previously, we determined that alcohol consumption selectively impairs clathrin-mediated internalization in polarized hepatocytes. However, neither the step at which the block occurs nor the mechanism responsible for the defect have been identified. To identify the specific step at which clathrin-mediated internalization is impaired, we examined the distributions, levels, and assembly of selected components of the clathrin machinery in control and ethanol-treated cells. To determine whether the impairment is caused by ethanol-induced lysine acetylation, we also examined the same coat components in cells treated with trichostatin A (TSA), a deacetylase inhibitor that leads to protein hyperacetylation in the absence of ethanol. Conclusion: We determined that both ethanol and TSA impair internalization at a late stage before vesicle fission. We further determined that this defect is likely the result of decreased dynamin recruitment to the necks of clathrin-coated invaginations resulting in impaired vesicle budding. These results also raise the exciting possibility that agents that promote lysine deacetylation may be effective therapeutics for the treatment of alcoholic liver disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In addition to cigarette smoking, alcohol exposure is also associated with increased lung infections and decreased mucociliary clearance. However, little research has been conducted on the combination effects of alcohol and cigarette smoke on lungs. Previously, we have demonstrated in a mouse model that the combination of cigarette smoke and alcohol exposure results in the formation of a very stable hybrid malondialdehyde-acetaldehyde (MAA)-adducted protein in the lung. In in vitro studies, MAA-adducted protein stimulates bronchial epithelial cell interleukin-8 (IL-8) via the activation of protein kinase C epsilon (PKCɛ). We hypothesized that direct MAA-adducted protein exposure in the lungs would mimic such a combination of smoke and alcohol exposure leading to airway inflammation. To test this hypothesis, C57BL/6J female mice were intranasally instilled with either saline, 30μL of 50μg/mL bovine serum albumin (BSA)-MAA, or unadducted BSA for up to 3 weeks. Likewise, human lung surfactant proteins A and D (SPA and SPD) were purified from human pulmonary proteinosis lung lavage fluid and successfully MAA-adducted in vitro. Similar to BSA-MAA, SPD-MAA was instilled into mouse lungs. Lungs were necropsied and assayed for histopathology, PKCɛ activation, and lung lavage chemokines. In control mice instilled with saline, normal lungs had few inflammatory cells. No significant effects were observed in unadducted BSA- or SPD-instilled mice. However, when mice were instilled with BSA-MAA or SPD-MAA for 3 weeks, a significant peribronchiolar localization of inflammatory cells was observed. Both BSA-MAA and SPD-MAA stimulated increased lung lavage neutrophils and caused a significant elevation in the chemokine, keratinocyte chemokine, which is a functional homologue to human IL-8. Likewise, MAA-adducted protein stimulated the activation of airway and lung slice PKCɛ. These data support that the MAA-adducted protein induces a proinflammatory response in the lungs and that the lung surfactant protein is a biologically relevant target for malondialdehyde and acetaldehyde adduction. These data further implicate MAA-adduct formation as a potential mechanism for smoke- and alcohol-induced lung injury.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most alcohol abusers smoke cigarettes and approximately half of all cigarette smokers consume alcohol. However, no animal models of cigarette and alcohol co-exposure exist to examine reactive aldehydes in the lungs. Cigarette smoking results in elevated lung acetaldehyde (AA) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels. Likewise, alcohol metabolism produces AA via the action of alcohol dehydrogenase and MDA via lipid peroxidation. A high concentration of AA and MDA form stable hybrid protein adducts known as malondialdehyde-acetaldehyde (MAA) adducts. We hypothesized that chronic cigarette smoke and alcohol exposure in an in vivo mouse model would result in the in vivo formation of MAA adducts.
We fed C57BL/6 mice ad libitum ethanol (20%) in drinking water and exposed them to whole-body cigarette smoke 2 h/d, 5 d/wk for 6 weeks. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung homogenates were assayed for AA, MDA, and MAA adduct concentrations. MAA-adducted proteins were identified by Western blot and ELISA.
Smoke and alcohol exposure alone elevated both AA and MDA, but only the combination of smoke+alcohol generated protein-adducting concentrations of AA and MDA. MAA-adducted protein (~500 ng/ml) was significantly elevated in the smoke+alcohol-exposed mice. Of the 5 MAA-adducted proteins identified by Western blot, 1 protein band immunoprecipitated with antibodies to surfactant protein D. Similar to in vitro PKC stimulation by purified MAA-adducted protein, protein kinase C (PKC) epsilon was activated only in tracheal epithelial extracts from smoke- and alcohol-exposed mice.
These data demonstrate that only the combination of cigarette smoke exposure and alcohol feeding in mice results in the generation of significant AA and MDA concentrations, the formation of MAA-adducted protein, and the activation of airway epithelial PKC epsilon in the lung.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 03/2011; 35(6):1106-13. · 3.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is an important cause of cirrhosis and over the past decade has accounted for an increasing proportion of liver transplants in the United States. Unfortunately there is no treatment for NASH except for risk factor modification. The aims of our study were to assess the impact of betaine on liver function tests, homocysteine levels and hepatic fibrosis in a prospective cohort of NASH patients Materials and Methodology: Between July 2003 and June 2006, consecutive patients with NASH were screened to deter-mine treatment eligibility. Eligibility criteria included elevated aminotransferases and a liver biopsy within twelve months of study entry satisfying the Brunt criteria for NASH. Patients were treated with betaine anhydrous 10 grams twice a day for one year. Liver function tests, homocysteine levels and liver biopsy were performed prior to and at the end of treat-ment. Outcomes were calculated using intention to treat analysis. Results: 35 patients were eligible. 23 patients completed treatment, seven were intolerant and five dropped out and were lost to follow up. Improvement or normalization in aminotransferases occurred in 62.9% of patients (p<0.05) and in ho-mocysteine in 45.7% (p> 0.05). Resolution or improvement in steatosis occurred in 57.1% (p<0.05), improvement or sta-bilization of inflammation in 60% (p<0.05) and fibrosis in 62.9% (p<0.05). Conclusion: Betaine appears to improve hepatic function tests, homocysteine levels and histology in this cohort of NASH patients. Large randomized studies with long-term follow up are required to assess the effect of betaine for this growing epidemic.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aldehydes that are produced following the breakdown of ethanol (acetaldehyde) and lipid peroxidation of membranes (malondialdehyde) have been shown to bind (adduct) proteins. Additionally, these two aldehydes can combine (MAA) on nonsyngeneic and syngeneic proteins to initiate numerous immune responses to the unmodified part of the protein in the absence of an adjuvant. Therefore, these studies provide a potential mechanism for the development of antigen-specific immune responses resulting in liver damage should syngeneic liver proteins be adducted with MAA.
This study sought to test whether MAA-modified syngeneic liver cytosolic proteins administered daily in the absence of adjuvant into C57BL/6 mice abrogates tolerance to initiate a MAA-induced autoimmune-like hepatitis.
In mice immunized with MAA-modified cytosols, there was an increase in liver damage as assessed by aspartate aminotransferase/alanine aminotransferase levels that correlated with liver pathology scores and the presence of the pro-fibrotic factors, smooth muscle actin, TGF-β, and collagen. IgG antibodies and T-cell proliferative responses specific for cytosolic proteins were also detected. Pro-inflammatory cytokines were produced in the livers of animals exposed to MAA-modified cytosols. Finally, transfer of immunized T cells to naïve animals caused biochemical and histological evidence of liver damage.
These data demonstrate that a disease with an autoimmune-like pathophysiology can be generated in this animal model using soluble MAA-modified syngeneic liver cytosols as the immunogen. These studies provide insight into potential mechanism(s) that the metabolites of alcohol may play in contributing to the onset of an autoimmune-like disease in patients with alcoholic liver disease.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 12/2010; 34(12):2126-36. · 3.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antibodies to malondialdehyde (MDA)-modified macromolecules (adducts) have been detected in the serum of patients with atherosclerosis and correlate with the progression of this disease. However, the epitope and its formation have not been characterized. Studies have shown that excess MDA can be degraded to acetaldehyde, which combines with proteins to from a stable dihydropyridine adduct. To investigate, mice were immunized with MDA adducts in the absence of adjuvant and showed an increase in antibodies to MDA adducts and the carrier protein as the concentration of MDA was increased. In fact, a number of the commercially available antibodies to MDA-modified proteins were able to be inhibited by a chemical analogue, hexyl-MAA. Also, MDA-MAA adducts were detected in the serum and aortic tissue of JCR diabetic/atherosclerotic rats. These studies determined that commercially available antibodies to MDA predominantly react with the MAA adduct and are present in the JCR model of atherosclerosis in both the serum and the aortic tissue. Therefore, the immune response to MDA-modified proteins is most probably to the dihydropyridine structure (predominant epitope in MAA), which suggests that MAA adducts may play a role in the development and/or progression of atherosclerosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ethanol metabolism in the liver induces oxidative stress and altered cytokine production preceding myofibroblast activation and fibrogenic responses. The purpose of this study was to determine how ethanol affects the fibrogenic response in precision-cut liver slices (PCLS). PCLS were obtained from chow-fed male Wistar rats (200-300 g) and were cultured up to 96 h in medium, 25 mM ethanol, or 25 mM ethanol and 0.5 mM 4-methylpyrazole (4-MP), an inhibitor of ethanol metabolism. Slices from every time point (24, 48, 72, and 96 h) were examined for glutathione (GSH) levels, lipid peroxidation [thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance (TBARS) assay], cytokine production (ELISA and RT-PCR), and myofibroblast activation [immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry for smooth muscle actin (SMA) and collagen]. Treatment of PCLS with 25 mM ethanol induced significant oxidative stress within 24 h, including depletion of cellular GSH and increased lipid peroxidation compared with controls (P < 0.05). Ethanol treatment also elicited a significant and sustained increase in interleukin-6 (IL-6) production (P < 0.05). Importantly, ethanol treatment accelerates a fibrogenic response after 48 h, represented by significant increases in SMA and collagen 1alpha(I) production (P < 0.05). These ethanol-induced effects were prevented by the addition of 4-MP. Ethanol metabolism induces oxidative stress (GSH depletion and increased lipid peroxidation) and sustained IL-6 expression in rat PCLS. These phenomena precede and coincide with myofibroblast activation, which occurs within 48 h of treatment. These results indicate the PCLS can be used as in vitro model for studying multicellular interactions during the early stages of ethanol-induced liver injury and fibrogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The proteasome is a multi-catalytic protein degradation enzyme that is regulated by ethanol-induced oxidative stress; such suppression is attributed to CYP2E1-generated metabolites. However, under certain conditions, it appears that in addition to oxidative stress, other mechanisms are also involved in proteasome regulation. This study investigated whether impaired protein methylation that occurs during exposure of liver cells to ethanol, may contribute to suppression of proteasome activity. We measured the chymotrypsin-like proteasome activity in Huh7CYP cells, hepatocytes, liver cytosols and nuclear extracts or purified 20S proteasome under conditions that maintain or prevent protein methylation. Reduction of proteasome activity of hepatoma cell and hepatocytes by ethanol or tubercidin was prevented by simultaneous treatment with S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). Moreover, the tubercidin-induced decline in proteasome activity occurred in both nuclear and cytosolic fractions. In vitro exposure of cell cytosolic fractions or highly purified 20S proteasome to low SAM:S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) ratios in the buffer also suppressed proteasome function, indicating that one or more methyltransferase(s) may be associated with proteasomal subunits. Immunoblotting a purified 20S rabbit red cell proteasome preparation using methyl lysine-specific antibodies revealed a 25 kDa proteasome subunit that showed positive reactivity with anti-methyl lysine. This reactivity was modified when 20S proteasome was exposed to differential SAM:SAH ratios. We conclude that impaired methylation of proteasome subunits suppressed proteasome activity in liver cells indicating an additional, yet novel mechanism of proteasome activity regulation by ethanol.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 01/2010; · 2.41 Impact Factor