Hadley J Hartwell

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

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Publications (2)4.6 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Women are more resistant to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) than men despite equal exposure to major risk factors, such as hepatitis B or C virus infection. Female resistance is hormone-dependent, as evidenced by the sharp increase in HCC incidence in postmenopausal women who do not take hormone replacement therapy. In rodent models sex-dimorphic HCC phenotypes are pituitary-dependent, suggesting that sex hormones act via the gonadal-hypophyseal axis. We found that the estrogen-responsive pituitary hormone prolactin (PRL), signaling through hepatocyte-predominant short-form prolactin receptors (PRLR-S), constrained TNF receptor-associated factor (TRAF)-dependent innate immune responses invoked by IL-1β, TNF-α, and LPS/Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), but not TRIF-dependent poly(I:C)/TLR3. PRL ubiquitinated and accelerated poststimulatory decay of a "trafasome" comprised of IRAK1, TRAF6, and MAP3K proteins, abrogating downstream activation of c-Myc-interacting pathways, including PI3K/AKT, mTORC1, p38 MAPK, and NF-κB. Consistent with this finding, we documented exaggerated male liver responses to immune stimuli in mice and humans. Tumor promotion through, but regulation above, the level of c-Myc was demonstrated by sex-independent HCC eruption in Alb-Myc transgenic mice. PRL deficiency accelerated liver carcinogenesis in Prl(-/-) mice of both sexes. Conversely, pharmacologic PRL mobilization using the dopamine D2 receptor antagonist domperidone prevented HCC in tumor-prone C3H/HeN males. Viewed together, our results demonstrate that PRL constrains tumor-promoting liver inflammation by inhibiting MAP3K-dependent activation of c-Myc at the level of the trafasome. PRL-targeted therapy may hold promise for reducing the burden of liver cancer in high-risk men and women.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Insulin resistance is a defining feature of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus but also may occur independently of these conditions. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the hepatic manifestation of these disorders, increases the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, mechanisms linking hyperinsulinemia to NAFLD and HCC require clarification. We describe a novel model of primary insulin resistance and HCC with strong parent-of-origin effects. Male AB6F1 (A/JCr dam × C57BL/6 sire) but not B6AF1 (B6 dam × A/J sire) mice developed spontaneous insulin resistance, NAFLD, and HCC without obesity or diabetes. A survey of mitochondrial, imprinted, and sex-linked traits revealed modest associations with X-linked genes. However, a diet-induced obesity study, including B6.A chromosome substitution-strain (consomic) mice, showed no segregation by sex chromosome. Thus, parent-of-origin effects were specified within the autosomal genome. Next, we interrogated mechanisms of insulin-associated hepatocarcinogenesis. Steatotic hepatocytes exhibited adipogenic transition characterized by vacuolar metaplasia and up-regulation of vimentin, adipsin, fatty acid translocase (CD36), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ, and related products. This profile was largely recapitulated in insulin-supplemented primary mouse hepatocyte cultures. Importantly, pyruvate kinase M2, a fetal anabolic enzyme implicated in the Warburg effect, was activated by insulin in vivo and in vitro. Thus, our study reveals parent-of-origin effects in heritable insulin resistance, implicating adipogenic transition with acquired anabolic metabolism in the progression from NAFLD to HCC.
    American Journal Of Pathology 09/2011; 179(6):2855-65. · 4.60 Impact Factor