The tumor suppressor p53 is a primary sensor of stressful stimuli, controlling a number of biologic processes. The aim of our study was to examine the roles of p53 in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
Male wild type and p53-deficient mice were fed a methionine- and choline-deficient diet for 8weeks to induce nutritional steatohepatitis. mRNA expression profiles in normal liver samples and liver samples from patients with non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD) were also evaluated.
Hepatic p53 and p66Shc signaling was enhanced in the mouse NASH model. p53 deficiency suppressed the enhanced p66Shc signaling, decreased hepatic lipid peroxidation and the number of apoptotic hepatocytes, and ameliorated progression of nutritional steatohepatitis. In primary cultured hepatocytes, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β treatment increased p53 and p66Shc signaling, leading to exaggerated reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and apoptosis. Deficient p53 signaling inhibited TGF-β-induced p66Shc signaling, ROS accumulation, and hepatocyte apoptosis. Furthermore, expression levels of p53, p21, and p66Shc were significantly elevated in human NAFLD liver samples, compared with results obtained with normal liver samples. Among NAFLD patients, those with NASH had significantly higher hepatic expression levels of p53, p21, and p66Shc compared with the group with simple steatosis. A significant correlation between expression levels of p53 and p66Shc was observed.
p53 in hepatocytes regulates steatohepatitis progression by controlling p66Shc signaling, ROS levels, and apoptosis, all of which may be regulated by TGF-β. Moreover, p53/p66Shc signaling in the liver appears to be a promising target for the treatment of NASH.
Journal of Hepatology 05/2012; 57(4):837-43. DOI:10.1016/j.jhep.2012.05.013 · 10.40 Impact Factor
Some studies have indicated that dietary cholesterol has a role in the progression of liver fibrosis. We investigated the mechanisms by which dietary cholesterol might contribute to hepatic fibrogenesis.
C57BL/6 mice were fed a high-cholesterol diet or a control diet for 4 weeks; liver fibrosis then was induced by bile-duct ligation or carbon tetrachloride administration. Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) were isolated from mice fed high-cholesterol diets or from Niemann-Pick type C1-deficient mice, which accumulate intracellular free cholesterol.
After bile-duct ligation or carbon tetrachloride administration, mice fed high-cholesterol diets had significant increases in liver fibrosis and activation of HSCs compared with mice fed control diets. There were no significant differences in the degree of hepatocellular injury or liver inflammation, including hepatocyte apoptosis or Kupffer cell activation, between mice fed high-cholesterol or control diets. Levels of free cholesterol were much higher in HSCs from mice fed high-cholesterol diets than those fed control diets. In cultured HSCs, accumulation of free cholesterol in HSCs increased levels of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), leading to down-regulation of bone morphogenetic protein and activin membrane-bound inhibitor (a pseudoreceptor for transforming growth factor [TGF]β); the HSCs became sensitized to TGFβ-induced activation. Liver fibrosis was not aggravated by the high-cholesterol diet in C3H/HeJ mice, which express a mutant form of TLR4; HSCs that express mutant TLR4 were not activated by accumulation of free cholesterol.
Dietary cholesterol aggravates liver fibrosis because free cholesterol accumulates in HSCs, leading to increased TLR4 signaling, down-regulation of bone morphogenetic protein and activin membrane-bound inhibitor, and sensitization of HSC to TGFβ. This pathway might be targeted by antifibrotic therapies.
Gastroenterology 01/2012; 142(1):152-164.e10. DOI:10.1053/j.gastro.2011.09.049 · 13.93 Impact Factor
Journal of Hepatology 03/2011; 54. DOI:10.1016/S0168-8278(11)61063-5 · 10.40 Impact Factor