[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Binge drinking, a common pattern of alcohol ingestion, is known to potentiate liver injury caused by chronic alcohol abuse. This study was aimed to investigate the effects of acute binge alcohol on hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α)-mediated liver injury and roles of alcohol metabolizing enzymes in alcohol-induced hypoxia and hepatotoxicity. Mice and human specimens assigned as binge or non-binge group were analyzed for blood alcohol concentration (BAC), alcohol metabolizing enzymes, HIF-1α-related protein nitration and apoptosis. Binge alcohol promoted acute liver injury in mice with elevated levels of ethanol-inducible cytochrome P450-2E1 (CYP2E1) and hypoxia, both of which were co-localized in centrilobular areas. We observed positive correlations among elevated BAC, CYP2E1, and HIF-1α in mice and humans exposed to binge alcohol. The CYP2E1 protein levels (r=0.629, p=0.001) and activities (r=0.641, p=0.001) showed significantly positive correlation with BACs in human livers. HIF-1α levels were also positively correlated with BACs (r=0.745, p<0.001) or CYP2E1 activities (r=0.792, p<0.001) in humans. Binge alcohol promoted protein nitration and apoptosis with significant correlations observed between inducible nitric oxide synthase and BACs, CYP2E1, or HIF-1α in human specimens. Binge alcohol-induced HIF-1α activation and subsequent protein nitration or apoptosis seen in wild-type were significantly alleviated in the corresponding Cyp2e1-null mice while pretreatment with an HIF-1α inhibitor PX-478 prevented HIF-1α elevation with a trend of decreased levels of 3-nitrotyrosine and apoptosis, supporting the roles of CYP2E1and HIF-1α in binge alcohol-mediated protein nitration and hepatotoxicity. Thus binge alcohol promotes acute liver injury in mice and humans at least partly through a CYP2E1-HIF-1α-dependent apoptosis pathway.
Free Radical Biology and Medicine 09/2014; · 5.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies indicate that the inflammasome activation plays important roles in the pathogenesis of alcoholic hepatitis (AH). Nod-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) is a key component of the macromolecular complex that is so called the inflammasome that triggers caspase 1-dependent maturation of the precursors of IL-1β and IL-18 cytokines. It is also known that the adaptor proteins including apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing CARD (ASC) and the mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS) are necessary for NLRP3-dependent inflammasome function. Steatohepatitis frequently includes Mallory-Denk body (MDB) formation. In the case of alcoholic steatohepatitis, MDB formation occurs in 80% of biopsies (French 1981; French 1981). While previous studies have focused on in vitro cell lines and mouse models, we are the first group to investigate inflammasome activation in AH liver biopsy specimen and correlate it with MDB formation. Expression of NOD1, NLRP3, ASC, NAIP, MAVS, caspase 1, IL-1β, IL-18, and other inflammatory components including IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α, IFN-γ, STAT3, and p65 was measured in three to eight formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded AH specimens and control normal liver specimens by immunofluorescence staining and quantified by immunofluorescence intensity. The specimens were double stained with ubiquitin to demonstrate the relationship between inflammasome activation and MDB formation. MAVS, caspase1, IL-18, and TNF-α showed increases in expression in AH compared to the controls (p<0.05), and NAIP expression markedly increased in AH compared to the controls (p<0.01). There was a trend that levels of NLRP3, ASC, caspase1, IL-18, IL-10, and p65 expression correlated with the number of MDBs found in the same field of measurement (correlation coefficients were between 0.62 and 0.93, p<0.05). Our results demonstrate the activation of the inflammasome in AH and suggest that MDB could be an indicator of the extent of inflammasome activation.
Experimental and Molecular Pathology 08/2014; · 2.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activation of Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling which stimulates inflammatory and proliferative pathways is the key element in the pathogenesis of Mallory-Denk bodies (MDBs) in mice fed DDC. However, little is known as to how TLR signaling is regulated in MDB formation during chronic liver disease development. The first systematic study of TLR signaling pathway transcript regulation in human archived formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) liver biopsies with MDB formation is presented here. When compared to the activation of Toll-like signaling in alcoholic hepatitis (AH) and Non alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) patients, striking similarities and obvious differences were observed. Similar TLRs (TLR3 and TLR4, etc.), TLR downstream adaptors (MyD88 and TRIF, etc.) and transcript factors (NFκB and IRF7, etc.) were all up regulated in the patients' livers. MyD88, TLR3 and TLR4 were significantly induced in the livers of AH and NASH compared to normal subjects, while TRIF and IRF7 mRNA were only slightly up regulated in AH patients. This is a different pathway from the induction of the TLR4-MyD88-independent pathway in the AH and NASH patients with MDBs present. Importantly, chemokine receptor 4 and 7 (CXCR4/7) mRNAs were found to be induced in the patients livers in FAT10 positive hepatocytes. The CXCR7 pathway was significantly up regulated in patients with AH and the CXCR4 was markedly up regulated in patients with NASH, indicating that CXCR4/7 is crucial in liver MDB formation. This data constitutes the first demonstration of the up regulation of the MyD88-dependent TLR4/ NFκB pathway in AH and NASH where MDBs formed, via the NFκB-CXCR4/7 pathway, and provides further insight into the mechanism of MDB formation in human liver diseases.
Experimental and Molecular Pathology 07/2014; · 2.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection affects millions of individuals and is a significant cause of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. Early treatment regimens relied on an immune-mediated response caused by interferon and only recently have medications acting directly on viral structures been discovered. In December 2013, two new medications, sofosbuvir and simeprevir, were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of chronic hepatitis C. This article reviews the approved treatment protocols for these two new medications and the clinical trials that fueled their development.
Current Treatment Options in Gastroenterology 03/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial abnormalities are suggested to be associated with the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver. Liver mitochondrial content and function have been shown to improve in oral feeding of acetyl-l-carnitine (ALC) to rodents. Carnitine is involved in the transport of acyl-coenzyme A across the mitochondrial membrane to be used in mitochondrial β-oxidation. We hypothesized that oral administration ALC with the antioxidant lipoic acid (ALC + LA) would benefit nonalcoholic fatty liver. To test our hypothesis, we fed Balb/C mice a standard diet (SF) or SF with ALC + LA or high-fat diet (HF) or HF with ALC + LA for 6 months. Acetyl-l-carnitine and LA were dissolved at 0.2:0.1% (wt/vol) in drinking water, and mice were allowed free access to food and water. Along with physical parameters, insulin resistance (blood glucose, insulin, glucose tolerance), liver function (alanine transaminase [ALT], aspartate transaminase [AST]), liver histology (hematoxylin and eosin), oxidative stress (malondialdehyde), and mitochondrial abnormalities (carbamoyl phosphate synthase 1 and electron microscopy) were done. Compared with SF, HF had higher body, liver, liver-to-body weight ratio, white adipose tissue, ALT, AST, liver fat, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. Coadministration of ALC + LA to HF animals significantly improved the mitochondrial marker carbamoyl phosphate synthase 1 and the size of the mitochondria in liver. Alanine transaminase and AST levels were decreased. In a nonalcoholic fatty liver mice model, ALC + LA combination improved liver mitochondrial content, size, serum ALT, and AST without significant changes in oxidative stress, insulin resistance, and liver fat accumulation.
Nutrition research 11/2013; 33(11):932-41. · 2.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Liver cell injury in alcoholic hepatitis (AH) is in part, due to macrophage generated proinflammatory cytokines i.e. M1, M2a, M2b, and M2c might be involved in ALD. The T cell response to chemokines and cytokines differs not only when M1 and M2 macrophages are compared but even when individual M2 subtypes are profiled.
In AH, M1 monocytes in the blood show increased sensitivity in the TNF-α response to LPS. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) studies showed that the liver sinusoids in ALD are abundantly populated by CD163 expressing type 2 macrophages. In this report, we profile many of the molecules associated with M1 and M2 macrophages in livers with AH using IHC.
Using immunofluorescent antibody-labeling, we profiled the receptors, cytokines and chemokines observed in M1 and M2a, M2b, and M2c macrophages in liver biopsies from patients with AH.
The increased CD 163 expression found in previous studies was confirmed as well an additional macrophage phenotypic marker CD206, suggesting that AH pathogenesis at least partially involves M2a and M2c macrophages. TGF-β was found to be robustly over expressed by liver sinusoidal macrophages. Macrophage expression of the phenotypic markers TLR-2, TLR-4 and TLR-8-found in both M1 and M2 macrophages-as well as the chemokines CCL-1 and CCL-18 were found. However, IRF-4, which is related to IL-4 production and M2a polarization as well as the cytokines CCL-1 and Il-1β and the chemokine CXCL-1 were also observed, suggesting that M2a and M2b also play a role in AH pathogenesis.
Livers with AH show robust macrophage over expression of TGF-β, a growth factor more commonly associated with M2 type macrophages and mostly known for its fibrogenetic properties. However, our immunoprofiling of macrophage overexpression also show that AH is driven by receptors, interferons, and cytokines that are commonly associated not just with M2 macrophages, but with M1 as well. Thus, a complex interplay between different types of macrophages expressing a diverse array of molecules and receptors are involved in AH.
Experimental and Molecular Pathology 10/2013; · 2.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since the late nineteenth century, protein restriction has been shown to improve hepatic encephalopathy. However, malnutrition has been described in up to 60 % of cirrhotic patients and is associated with increased mortality. Furthermore, emerging clinical evidence has revealed that a large proportion of cirrhotic patients may tolerate normal protein intake. However, approximately one third of cirrhotic patients with hepatic encephalopathy may need a short course of protein restriction, in addition to maximum medical therapy, to ameliorate the clinical course of their hepatic encephalopathy. For patients with chronic hepatic encephalopathy who are protein-sensitive, modifying their sources of nitrogen by using more vegetable protein, less animal protein, and branched-chain amino acids may improve their encephalopathy without further loss of lean body mass. In conclusion, among cirrhotics with hepatic encephalopathy, modulation of normal protein intake must take into account the patient’s hepatic reserve, severity of hepatic encephalopathy, and current nutritional status.
Hepatology International 09/2013; · 2.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with boceprevir, peginterferon, and ribavirin can lead to anemia, which has been managed by reducing ribavirin dose and/or erythropoietin therapy. We assessed the effects of these anemia management strategies on rates of sustained virologic response (SVR) and safety.
Patients (n=687) received 4 weeks of peginterferon and ribavirin followed by 24 or 44 weeks of boceprevir (800 mg, 3 times each day) plus peginterferon and ribavirin. Patients who became anemic (levels of hemoglobin approximately ≤10 g/dL) during the study treatment period (n=500) were assigned to groups that were managed by ribavirin dose reduction (n=249) or erythropoietin therapy (n=251).
Rates of SVR were comparable between patients whose anemia was managed by ribavirin dose reduction (71.5%) vs erythropoietin therapy (70.9%), regardless of the timing of the first intervention to manage anemia or the magnitude of ribavirin dose reduction. There was a threshold for the effect on rate of SVR: patients who received <50% of the total mg of ribavirin assigned by the protocol had a significantly lower rate of SVR (P<.0001) than those who received ≥50%. Among patients who did not develop anemia, the rate of SVR was 40.1%. Eleven thromboembolic adverse events were reported, in 9 of 295 patients who received erythropoietin, compared to 1 of 392 patients who did not receive erythropoietin.
Reduction of ribavirin dose can be the primary approach for management of anemia in patients receiving peginterferon, ribavirin, and boceprevir for HCV infection. Reduction in ribavirin dose throughout the course of triple therapy does not affect rates of SVR. However, it is important that the patient receives at least 50% of the total amount (mg) of ribavirin assigned by response-guided therapy.ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01023035.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sustained virologic response (SVR) is the standard measure for evaluating response to therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC). The aim of this study was to prospectively assess the durability of SVR in the pivotal studies of peginterferon (PEG-IFN) α-2b or IFN α-2b. We conducted two phase 3b long-term follow-up studies of patients previously treated for CHC in eight prospective randomized studies of IFN α-2b and/or PEG-IFN α-2b. Patients who achieved SVR [undetectable hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA 24 weeks after completion of treatment] were eligible for inclusion in these follow-up studies. In total, 636 patients with SVR following treatment with IFN α-2b and 366 with SVR following treatment with PEG-IFN α-2b were enrolled. Definite relapse (quantifiable serum HCV RNA with no subsequent undetectable HCV RNA) was reported in six patients treated with IFN α-2b and three patients treated with PEG-IFN α-2b. Based on these relapses, the point estimate for the likelihood of maintaining response after 5 years was 99.2% [95% confidence interval (CI), 98.1-99.7%] for IFN α-2b and 99.4% (95% CI, 97.7-99.9%) for PEG-IFN α-2b. Successful treatment of hepatitis C with PEG-IFN α-2b or IFN α-2b leads to clinical cure of hepatitis C in the vast majority of cases.
Journal of Viral Hepatitis 08/2013; 20(8):524-9. · 3.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer. We performed RNA sequencing in primary human hepatocytes activated with synthetic double-stranded RNA to mimic HCV infection. Upstream of IFNL3 (IL28B) on chromosome 19q13.13, we discovered a new transiently induced region that harbors a dinucleotide variant ss469415590 (TT or ΔG), which is in high linkage disequilibrium with rs12979860, a genetic marker strongly associated with HCV clearance. ss469415590[ΔG] is a frameshift variant that creates a novel gene, designated IFNL4, encoding the interferon-λ4 protein (IFNL4), which is moderately similar to IFNL3. Compared to rs12979860, ss469415590 is more strongly associated with HCV clearance in individuals of African ancestry, although it provides comparable information in Europeans and Asians. Transient overexpression of IFNL4 in a hepatoma cell line induced STAT1 and STAT2 phosphorylation and the expression of interferon-stimulated genes. Our findings provide new insights into the genetic regulation of HCV clearance and its clinical management.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:During the Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-term Treatment against Cirrhosis Trial, 3.5 years of maintenance peginterferon-alfa-2a therapy did not affect liver fibrosis progression or clinical outcomes among 1,050 previous interferon nonresponders with advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis. We investigated whether reduced hepatic inflammation was associated with clinical benefit in 834 patients with a baseline and follow-up biopsy 1.5 years after randomization to peginterferon or observation.METHODS:Relationships between change in hepatic inflammation (Ishak hepatic activity index, (HAI)) and serum alanine aminotransferase level, fibrosis progression and clinical outcomes after randomization, and hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA decline before and after randomization were evaluated. Histological change was defined as a ≥2-point difference in HAI or Ishak fibrosis score between biopsies.RESULTS:Among 657 patients who received full-dose peginterferon/ribavirin "lead-in" therapy before randomization, year-1.5 HAI improvement was associated with lead-in HCV RNA suppression in both the randomized treated (P<0.0001) and control (P=0.0001) groups, even in the presence of recurrent viremia. This relationship persisted at year 3.5 in both the treated (P=0.001) and control (P=0.01) groups. Among 834 patients followed for a median of 6 years, fewer clinical outcomes occurred in patients with improved HAI at year 1.5 compared with those without such improvement in both the treated (P=0.03) and control (P=0.05) groups. Among patients with Ishak 3-4 fibrosis at baseline, those with improved HAI at year 1.5 had less fibrosis progression at year 1.5 in both the treated (P=0.0003) and control (P=0.02) groups.CONCLUSIONS:Reduced hepatic inflammation (measured 1.5 and 3.5 years after randomization) was associated with profound virological suppression during lead-in treatment with full-dose peginterferon/ribavirin and with decreased fibrosis progression and clinical outcomes, independent of randomized treatment.Am J Gastroenterol advance online publication, 12 June 2012; doi:10.1038/ajg.2012.137.
The American Journal of Gastroenterology 06/2012; · 9.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known about factors associated with a sustained virologic response (SVR) among patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection to treatment with protease inhibitors.
Previously untreated patients (from the Serine Protease Inhibitor Therapy 2 [SPRINT-2] trial) and those who did not respond to prior therapy (from the Retreatment with HCV Serine Protease Inhibitor Boceprevir and PegIntron/Rebetol 2 [RESPOND-2] trial) received either a combination of peginterferon and ribavirin for 48 weeks or boceprevir, peginterferon, and ribavirin (triple therapy) after 4 weeks of peginterferon and ribavirin (total treatment duration, 28-48 wk). A good response to interferon was defined as a ≥ 1 log(10) decrease in HCV RNA at week 4; a poor response was defined as a <1 log(10) decrease. We used multivariate regression analyses to identify baseline factors of the host (including the polymorphism interleukin [IL]-28B rs12979860) associated with response. The polymorphism IL-28B rs8099917 also was assessed.
In the SPRINT-2 trial, factors that predicted a SVR to triple therapy included low viral load (odds ratio [OR], 11.6), IL-28B genotype (rs 12979860 CC vs TT and CT; ORs, 2.6 and 2.1, respectively), absence of cirrhosis (OR, 4.3), HCV subtype 1b (OR, 2.0), and non-black race (OR, 2.0). In the RESPOND-2 trial, the only factor significantly associated with a SVR was previous relapse, compared with previous nonresponse (OR, 2.6). Most patients with rs12979860 CC who received triple therapy had undetectable levels of HCV RNA by week 8 (76%-89%), and were eligible for shortened therapy. In both studies, IL-28B rs12979860 CC was associated more strongly with a good response to interferon than other baseline factors; however, a ≥ 1 log(10) decrease in HCV-RNA level at week 4 was associated more strongly with SVR than IL-28B rs12979860. Combining the rs8099917 and rs12979860 genotypes does not increase the association with SVR.
The CC polymorphism at IL-28B rs12979860 is associated with response to triple therapy and can identify candidates for shorter treatment durations. A ≥ 1 log(10) decrease in HCV RNA at week 4 of therapy is the strongest predictor of a SVR, regardless of polymorphisms in IL-28B.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Risk for future clinical outcomes is proportional to the severity of liver disease in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV). We measured disease severity by quantitative liver function tests (QLFTs) to determine cutoffs for QLFTs that identified patients who were at low and high risk for a clinical outcome. Two hundred and twenty-seven participants in the Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-term Treatment Against Cirrhosis (HALT-C) Trial underwent baseline QLFTs and were followed for a median of 5.5 years for clinical outcomes. QLFTs were repeated in 196 patients at month 24 and in 165 patients at month 48. Caffeine elimination rate (k(elim)), antipyrine (AP) clearance (Cl), MEGX concentration, methionine breath test (MBT), galactose elimination capacity (GEC), dual cholate (CA) clearances and shunt, perfused hepatic mass (PHM), and liver and spleen volumes (by single-photon emission computed tomography) were measured. Baseline QLFTs were significantly worse (P = 0.0017 to P < 0.0001) and spleen volumes were larger (P < 0.0001) in the 54 patients who subsequently experienced clinical outcomes. QLFT cutoffs that characterized patients as "low" and "high risk" for clinical outcome yielded hazard ratios ranging from 2.21 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.29-3.78) for GEC to 6.52 (95% CI: 3.63-11.71) for CA clearance after oral administration (Cl(oral)). QLFTs independently predicted outcome in models with Ishak fibrosis score, platelet count, and standard laboratory tests. In serial studies, patients with high-risk results for CA Cl(oral) or PHM had a nearly 15-fold increase in risk for clinical outcome. Less than 5% of patients with "low risk" QLFTs experienced a clinical outcome. Conclusion: QLFTs independently predict risk for future clinical outcomes. By improving risk assessment, QLFTs could enhance the noninvasive monitoring, counseling, and management of patients with chronic HCV.