[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bone morphogenetic protein 6 (BMP6) has been identified as crucial regulator of iron homeostasis. However, its further role in liver pathology including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its advanced form non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is elusive. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression and function of BMP6 in chronic liver disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Overnutrition is the major cause of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its advanced form nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). We aimed to develop and characterize a murine model, which resembles both the pathology and nutritional situation, of NASH patients in Western societies. Mice were fed with a NASH-inducing diet (ND) containing sucrose, cholesterol and fats rich in saturated fatty acids in a composition, which mimics Western food. After 12 weeks, ND-fed mice revealed obesity and impaired glucose tolerance. In the liver, ND-feeding led to marked steatosis, hepatocellular damage, inflammation and beginning fibrosis. Transcriptome-wide gene expression analysis and search for over-represented transcription factor target sites among the differentially expressed genes identified activator protein-1 (AP-1) as the most likely factor to cause the transcriptional changes in ND livers. Combining differentially expressed gene and protein-protein interaction network analysis identified c-Jun as hub in the largest connected deregulated sub-network in ND livers. Accordingly, ND livers revealed c-Jun-phosphorylation and nuclear translocation. Moreover, hepatic c-Jun expression was enhanced in ND-fed mice. Combined tissue microarray technology and immunohistochemical analysis confirmed enhanced hepatic c-Jun levels in NAFLD patients, which correlated with inflammation, and notably, with the degree of hepatic steatosis. In summary, our new mouse model shows important pathological changes also found in human NASH and indicates c-Jun/AP-1 activation as critical regulator of hepatic alterations. Abundance of c-Jun in NAFLD likely facilitates development and progression of NASH.Laboratory Investigation advance online publication, 3 February 2014; doi:10.1038/labinvest.2014.3.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To study expression and function of methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP), the rate-limiting enzyme in the methionine and adenine salvage pathway, in chronic liver disease.
MTAP expression was analyzed by qRT-PCR, Western blot and immunohistochemical analysis. Levels of MTA were determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.
MTAP was downregulated in hepatocytes in murine fibrosis models and in patients with chronic liver disease, leading to a concomitant increase in MTA levels. In contrast, activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) showed strong MTAP expression in cirrhotic livers. However, also MTA levels in activated HSCs were significantly higher than in hepatocytes, and there was a significant correlation between MTA levels and collagen expression in diseased human liver tissue indicating that activated HSCs significantly contribute to elevated MTA in diseased livers. MTAP suppression by siRNA resulted in increased MTA levels, NFκB activation and apoptosis resistance, while overexpression of MTAP caused the opposite effects in HSCs. The anti-apoptotic effect of low MTAP expression and high MTA levels, respectively, was mediated by induced expression of survivin, while inhibition of survivin abolished the anti-apoptotic effect of MTA on HSCs. Treatment with a DNA demethylating agent induced MTAP and reduced survivin expression, while oxidative stress reduced MTAP levels but enhanced survivin expression in HSCs.
MTAP mediated regulation of MTA links polyamine metabolism with NFκB activation and apoptosis in HSCs. MTAP and MTAP modulating mechanisms appear as promising prognostic markers and therapeutic targets for hepatic fibrosis.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(12):e80703. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bitter acids (BAs) from the hop plant Humulus lupulus L. exhibit multiple beneficial biological properties with promising effects in cancer therapy and prevention, but information regarding the effects on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is missing. Here, we used two different hop bitter acid extracts enriched for either α-acids or β-acids to obtain insight into whether biological activity varies between these two groups of BAs. At a concentration of 25 µg/ml, only the β-acid rich started to induce aspartate transaminase (AST) release, and a significant increase was detected with 50 µg/ml of both extracts. Already at lower concentrations both extracts led to a dose-dependent inhibition of proliferation, and migration was suppressed at a concentration as low as 5 µg/ml in HCC cells. The focus on different signaling pathways revealed an inhibition of ERK1/2 phosphorylation, downregulation of AP-1 activity and an alleviation of nuclear factor κB (NFκB) activity in HepG2 cells incubated with 5 µg/ml of both extracts, whereby the β-acid rich extract showed more pronounced effects. In conclusion, we identified ERK1/2, AP-1 and NFκB, which are important factors in tumor development and progression, as targets of hop BAs. Thus, these data suggest the potential use of BAs as functional nutrients for both prevention and treatment of HCC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Female inflorescences of the hop plant Humulus lupulus L. contain a variety of secondary metabolites with bitter acids (BA) as quantitatively dominating secondary metabolites. The use of hops in beer brewing has a long history due to the antibacterial effects of the BA and their typical bitter taste. Furthermore, hop cones are used in traditional medicine and for pharmaceutical purposes. Recent studies indicate that BA may affect activity of the transcription factor NFκB. NFκB plays a key role in the activation process of hepatic stellate cells (HSC), which is the key event of hepatic fibrosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of BA on HSC (activation) and their potential to inhibit molecular processes involved in the pathogenesis of hepatic fibrosis. HSC were isolated from murine and human liver tissue and incubated with a characterized fraction of bitter acids purified from a CO(2) hop extract. At a concentration of 25μg/ml BA started to induce LDH leakage. Already at lower concentrations BA lead to a dose dependent inhibition of HSC proliferation and inhibited IκB-α-phosphorylation, nuclear p65 translocation and binding activity in a dose dependent way (up to 10μg/ml). Accordingly, the same BA-doses inhibited the expression of pro-inflammatory and NFκB regulated genes as MCP-1 and RANTES, but did not affect expression of genes not related to NFκB signaling. In addition to the effect on activated HSC, BA inhibited the in vitro activation process of freshly isolated HSC as evidenced by delayed expression of collagen I and α-SMA mRNA and protein. Together, these findings indicate that BA inhibit NFκB activation, and herewith the activation and development of profibrogenic phenotype of HSC. Thus, bitter acids appear as potential functional nutrients for the prevention or treatment hepatic fibrosis in chronic liver disease.
Experimental and Molecular Pathology 11/2011; 92(2):222-8. · 2.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common cause of hepatic dysfunction. The disease spectrum ranges from hepatic steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The aim of this study was to identify metabolic differences in murine models of simple hepatic steatosis and NASH for the distinction of these NAFLD stages. For 12 weeks, male BALB/c mice were fed either a control or two different high-fat diets leading to hepatic steatosis and NASH, respectively. Metabolic differences were determined by independent component analysis (ICA) of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra of lipophilic and hydrophilic liver extracts, and urine specimens. The results from ICA clearly discriminated the three investigated groups. Discriminatory biomarkers in the lipophilic liver extracts were free cholesterol, cholesterol ester and lipid methylene. Discrimination of the hydrophilic liver extracts was mainly mediated by betaine, glucose, and lactate, whereas in urine taurine, trimethylamine-N-oxide, and trimethylamine were the most discriminatory biomarkers. In conclusion, NMR metabolite fingerprinting of spot urine specimens may allow the noninvasive distinction of steatosis and NASH.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by hepatic lipid accumulation which starts with simple hepatic steatosis and may progress toward inflammation (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis [NASH]). Fatty acid synthase (FASN) catalyzes the last step in fatty acid biosynthesis, and thus, it is believed to be a major determinant of the maximal hepatic capacity to generate fatty acids by de novo lipogenesis. The aim of this study was to analyze the correlation between hepatic steatosis and inflammation with FASN expression. In vitro incubation of primary human hepatocytes with fatty acids dose-dependently induced cellular lipid-accumulation and FASN expression, while stimulation with TNF did not affect FASN levels. Further, hepatic FASN expression was significantly increased in vivo in a murine model of hepatic steatosis without significant inflammation but not in a murine NASH model as compared to control mice. Also, FASN expression was not increased in mice subjected to bile duct ligation, an experimental model characterized by severe hepatocellular damage and inflammation. Furthermore, FASN expression was analyzed in 102 human control or NAFLD livers applying tissue micro array technology and immunohistochemistry, and correlated significantly with the degree of hepatic steatosis, but not with inflammation or ballooning of hepatocytes. Quantification of FASN mRNA expression in human liver samples confirmed significantly higher FASN levels in hepatic steatosis but not in NASH, and expression of SREBP1, which is the main transcriptional regulator of FASN, paralleled FASN expression levels in human and experimental NAFLD. In conclusion, the transcriptional induction of FASN expression in hepatic steatosis is impaired in NASH, while hepatic inflammation in the absence of steatosis does not affect FASN expression, suggesting that FASN may serve as a new diagnostic marker or therapeutic target for the progression of NAFLD.
International journal of clinical and experimental pathology 01/2010; 3(5):505-14. · 2.24 Impact Factor