[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and its coreceptor, myeloid differentiation factor-2 (MD-2), are key in recognition of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and activation of proinflammatory pathways. Here we tested the hypothesis that TLR4 and its coreceptor MD-2 play a central role in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and liver fibrosis in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Mice of control genotypes and those deficient in MD-2 or TLR4 [knockout (KO)] received methionine choline-deficient (MCD) or methionine choline-supplemented (MCS) diet. In mice of control genotypes, MCD diet resulted in NASH, liver triglycerides accumulation, and increased thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, a marker of lipid peroxidation, compared with MCS diet. These features of NASH were significantly attenuated in MD-2 KO and TLR4 KO mice. Serum alanine aminotransferase, an indicator of liver injury, was increased in MCD diet-fed genotype controls but was attenuated in MD-2 KO and TLR4 KO mice. Inflammatory activation, indicated by serum TNF-α and nictoinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase complex mRNA expression and activation, was significantly lower in MCD diet-fed MD-2 KO and TLR4 KO compared with corresponding genotype control mice. Markers of liver fibrosis [collagen by Sirius red and α-smooth muscle actin (SMA) staining, procollagen-I, transforming growth factor-β1, α-SMA, matrix metalloproteinase-2, and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-1 mRNA] were attenuated in MD-2 and TLR4 KO compared with their control genotype counterparts. In conclusion, our results demonstrate a novel, critical role for LPS recognition complex, including MD-2 and TLR4, through NADPH activation in liver steatosis, and fibrosis in a NASH model in mice.
Preview · Article · Mar 2011 · AJP Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alcoholic and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis are leading causes of liver diseases worldwide. While of different etiology, these share common pathophysiological mechanisms and feature abnormal fat metabolism, inflammation and fibrosis. MicroRNAs (miRNA) are highly conserved noncoding RNAs that control gene expression at the post-transcriptional level either via the degradation of target mRNAs or the inhibition of translation. Each miRNA controls the expression of multiple targets; miRNAs have been linked to regulation of lipid metabolism and inflammation.
We fed Lieber-DeCarli alcohol or methionine-choline-deficient (MCD) diets to C57Bl6 and analyzed livers for histopathology, cytokines by ELISA, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) by biochemical assay, and microRNA profile by microarray.
Both Lieber-DeCarli and MCD diets lead to development of liver steatosis, liver injury, indicated by increased ALT, and elevated levels of serum TNFalpha, suggesting that animal models portray the pathophysiological features of alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver, respectively. We identified that Lieber-deCarli diet up-regulated 1% and down-regulated 1% of known miRNA; MCD diet up-regulated 3% and down-regulated 1% of known miRNA, compared to controls. Of miRNAs that changed expression levels, 5 miRNAs were common in alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty livers: the expression of both miR-705 and miR-1224 was increased after Lieber-DeCarli or MCD diet feeding. In contrast, miR-182, miR-183, and miR-199a-3p were down-regulated in Lieber-deCarli feeding, while MCD diet lead to their up-regulation, compared to corresponding controls.
Our findings indicate etiology-specific changes in miRNA expression profile during steatohepatitis models, which opens new avenues for research in the pathophysiology of alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
No preview · Article · Aug 2009 · Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its advanced stage, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), are the most common causes of chronic liver disease in the United States. NASH features the metabolic syndrome, inflammation, and fibrosis. Probiotics exhibit immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory activity. We tested the hypothesis that probiotic VSL#3 may ameliorate the methionine-choline-deficient (MCD) diet-induced mouse model of NASH. MCD diet resulted in NASH in C57BL/6 mice compared to methionine-choline-supplemented (MCS) diet feeding evidenced by liver steatosis, increased triglycerides, inflammatory cell accumulation, increased tumor necrosis factor alpha levels, and fibrosis. VSL#3 failed to prevent MCD-induced liver steatosis or inflammation. MCD diet, even in the presence of VSL#3, induced up-regulation of serum endotoxin and expression of the Toll-like receptor 4 signaling components, including CD14 and MD2, MyD88 adaptor, and nuclear factor kappaB activation. In contrast, VSL#3 treatment ameliorated MCD diet-induced liver fibrosis resulting in diminished accumulation of collagen and alpha-smooth muscle actin. We identified increased expression of liver peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors and decreased expression of procollagen and matrix metalloproteinases in mice fed MCD+VSL#3 compared to MCD diet alone. MCD diet triggered up-regulation of transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta), a known profibrotic agent. In the presence of VSL#3, the MCD diet-induced expression of TGFbeta was maintained; however, the expression of Bambi, a TGFbeta pseudoreceptor with negative regulatory function, was increased. In summary, our data indicate that VSL#3 modulates liver fibrosis but does not protect from inflammation and steatosis in NASH. The mechanisms of VSL#3-mediated protection from MCD diet-induced liver fibrosis likely include modulation of collagen expression and impaired TGFbeta signaling.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) expressed on both immune cells and hepatocytes recognize microbial danger signals and regulate immune responses. Previous studies showed that TLR9 and TLR2 mediate Propionibacterium acnes-induced sensitization to lipopolysaccharide-triggered acute liver injury in mice. Ligand-specific activation of TLR2 and TLR9 are dependent on the common TLR adaptor, myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88). Here, we dissected the role of MyD88 in parenchymal and bone marrow (BM)-derived cells in liver sensitization. Using chimeric mice with green fluorescent protein-expressing BM cells, we identified that P. acnes-induced liver inflammatory foci are of BM origin. Chimeras with MyD88-deficient BM showed no inflammatory foci after P. acnes or TLR2+TLR9 challenge, suggesting that recruitment of inflammatory cells to the liver required MyD88 expression in BM-derived cells. Further, selective MyD88 deficiency in parenchymal cells in mice with wild-type BM failed to prevent inflammatory cell infiltration. These results demonstrate that MyD88 in immune cells rather than in liver parenchymal cells plays an important role in inflammatory cell recruitment and liver injury.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) that recognizes endotoxin, a trigger of inflammation in alcoholic liver disease (ALD), activates two signaling pathways utilizing different adapter molecules: the common TLR adapter, myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88), or Toll/interleukin immune-response-domain-containing adaptor inducing interferon (IFN)-beta. The MyD88 pathway induces proinflammatory cytokine activation, a critical mediator of ALD. Here we evaluated the role of MyD88 in alcohol-induced liver injury in wild-type, TLR2-deficient, TLR4-deficient, or MyD88-deficient (knockout [KO]) mice after administration of the Lieber-De-Carli diet (4.5% volume/volume ethanol) or an isocaloric liquid control diet for 5 weeks. Alcohol feeding resulted in a significant increase in serum alanine aminotransferase levels, liver steatosis and triglyceride levels suggesting liver damage in WT, TLR2-KO, and MyD88-KO but not in TLR4-KO mice. Expression of inflammatory mediators (tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6) and TLR4 coreceptors (CD14 and MD2) was significantly higher in livers of alcohol-fed WT, TLR2-KO, or MyD88-KO, but not in TLR4-KO mice, compared to controls. Reactive oxygen radicals produced by cytochrome P450 and the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate complexes contribute to alcoholic liver damage. Alcohol feeding-induced expression and activation of cytochrome P450 and the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate complex were prevented by TLR4-deficiency but not by MyD88-deficiency. Liver expression of interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3), a MyD88-independent signaling molecule, was not affected by chronic alcohol treatment in whole livers of WT mice or in any of the KO mice. However, the induction of IRF7, an IRF3-inducible gene, was found in Kupffer cells of alcohol-fed WT mice. Alcohol feeding also induced nuclear factor-kappaB activation in a TLR4-dependent MyD88-independent manner. CONCLUSION: While TLR4 deficiency was protective, MyD88 deficiency failed to prevent alcohol-induced liver damage and inflammation. These results suggest that the common TLR adapter, MyD88, is dispensable in TLR4-mediated liver injury in ALD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptors (TLR) recognize pathogens and regulate innate immune activation. Here, we investigated the roles of TLR9 and the common TLR adaptor, MyD88, in liver injury.
C57BL6, TLR9(-/-), IFNgamma(-/-) or MyD88(-/-) mice were primed with Propionibacterium acnes, TLR9 (CpG) or TLR2 (lipoteichoic acid) ligands followed by LPS challenge. ALT, cytokines and liver histology were assessed.
Selective priming through TLR9 but not TLR2 induced granulomas, elevated serum ALT, and sensitized C57BL6 mice to increased LPS-induced serum IL-6, IL-12 and IFNgamma levels. Further, TLR2 and TLR9 ligands synergized in induction of granulomas and sensitization to LPS-induced inflammation. IFNgamma induction by P. acnes, TLR2 and TLR9 ligands required MyD88. In MyD88(-/-) mice P. acnes failed to induce granulomas and both MyD88 and TLR9 deficiency prevented P. acnes-induced sensitization to LPS. Increased mRNA expression of genes of the TLR4 signaling complex (TLR4, CD14, MD-2, and MyD88) and the NADPH complexes (p47phox, p67phox, gp91phox, and p22phox) was induced by priming with P. acnes or TLR9 plus TLR2 suggesting mechanisms for LPS sensitization and liver injury.
TLR9+/-TLR2 activation via MyD88-dependent pathways plays a pivotal role in liver sensitization and granuloma formation.
No preview · Article · Jan 2007 · Journal of Hepatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recognition of Gram-positive bacteria by Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) induces activation of proinflammatory pathways. In mice, sensitization with the Gram-positive Propionibacterium acnes followed by a challenge with the TLR4 ligand, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), results in fulminant hepatic failure. Here, we investigated the role of TLR2 in liver sensitization to LPS-induced injury. Stimulation of Chinese hamster ovary cells and peritoneal macrophages with heat-killed P. acnes required expression of TLR2 but not of TLR4, suggesting that P. acnes was a TLR2 ligand. Cell activation by P. acnes was myeloid differentiation primary-response protein 88 (MyD88)-dependent, and it was augmented by coexpression of CD14 in mouse peritoneal macrophages. In vitro, P. acnes behaved as a TLR2 ligand and induced TLR4 hetero- and TLR2 homotolerance in peritoneal macrophages. In vivo priming of wild-type mice with P. acnes, but not with the selective TLR2 ligands peptidoglycan and lipotheicoic acid, resulted in hepatocyte necrosis, hyperelevated serum levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin (IL)-6, interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), and IL-12 (p40/p70), and increased RNA expression of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-12p40, IL-1alpha, IL-6, IL-1beta, IL-18, IFN-gamma) in the liver after a LPS challenge. Furthermore, P. acnes priming sensitized TLR2-deficient (TLR2-/-) but not MyD88-/- mice to LPS-induced injury, evidenced by hepatocyte necrosis, increased levels of serum TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma, IL-6, and liver proinflammatory cytokine mRNA expression. IFN-gamma, a cytokine sensitizing to endotoxin, was induced by P. acnes in splenocytes of TLR2-/- and TLR9-/- but not MyD88-/- mice. These results suggest that although P. acnes triggers TLR2-mediated cell activation, TLR2-independent but MyD88-dependent mechanisms mediate in vivo sensitization by P. acnes for LPS-induced liver injury.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2006 · Journal of Leukocyte Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptors (TLR) recognize pathogen-derived molecules and induce downstream activation of inflammatory pathways. Fatty liver has been shown to result in increased sensitivity to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a TLR4 ligand. In this study, we investigated the roles of TLR2 and TLR4 in liver damage and on cytokine induction in a methionine-choline deficient (MCD) diet-induced model of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. We found that mice with nonalcoholic fatty liver had increased liver injury and inflammatory cytokine induction after challenge with a TLR4 but not with a TLR2 ligand. TLR2 deficient mice were not protected against the development of steatohepatitis after MCD diet feeding. On the contrary, TLR2 mice had significantly higher levels of serum ALT and greater TNF-alpha levels after LPS challenge suggesting increased liver injury. This was associated with reduced production of IL-6, a cytokine with hepatoprotective effects in fatty liver. Increased liver injury in the MCD diet-fed TLR2 mice was associated with reduced baseline and LPS-induced NF-kB and PPRE binding compared to MCS controls. These results demonstrate that TLR2 deficiency results in increased liver injury in association with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and may suggest a protective role for TLR2-mediated signals in liver injury.
No preview · Article · Dec 2005 · Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Both alcoholic (AFL) and nonalcoholic (NAFL) fatty livers show increased sensitivity to endotoxin-induced injury. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is recognized by toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), whereas lipopeptide triggers TLR2 to induce common downstream activation of nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB and pro-inflammatory pathways that are activated in AFL and NAFL.
Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, and interleukin (IL)-6 levels; hepatic NF-kappaB activity; and expression of TLR2, TLR4, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and heme oxygenase (HO)-1 mRNAs were investigated in lean and leptin-deficient ob/ob mice after LPS challenge in combination with acute or chronic alcohol feeding.
Increased LPS sensitivity in AFL and NAFL was characterized by elevated serum TNF-alpha and IL-6 induction. However, there was no difference in TLR2 and TLR4 mRNA levels between lean and ob/ob livers at baseline and after acute or chronic alcohol treatment. LPS increased TLR2, but not TLR4, mRNA levels in all groups. Chronic alcohol feeding and LPS increased serum ALT and TNF-alpha levels in lean but not in ob/ob mice compared with pair-fed controls. Hepatic NF-kappaB activation was increased in both ob/ob and lean mice after chronic alcohol feeding compared with pair-fed controls. Expression of iNOS, an inducer of oxidative stress, and HO-1, a cytoprotective protein, were higher in ob/ob compared with lean mice after chronic alcohol feeding. However, LPS-induced HO-1, but not iNOS, expression was attenuated in ob/ob compared with lean mice.
These results imply that the increased sensitivity of AFL to LPS occurs without up-regulation of TLR2 or TLR4 genes and may be related to an imbalance of pro-inflammatory/oxidative and cytoprotective mechanisms.
No preview · Article · Jul 2005 · Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) triggers cytokine production through Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), which shares downstream signaling pathways with TLR2. We investigated the roles of TLR2 and TLR4 in Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes)-primed, LPS-induced liver damage using selective TLR ligands. Stock LPS induced interleukin 8 in both TLR4- and TLR2-expressing human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells. Purified LPS (TLR4 ligand) activated HEK/TLR4 cells, while peptidoglycan and lipoteichoic acid (TLR2 ligands) activated HEK/TLR2 cells, respectively. In mice, P. acnes priming resulted in increased liver messenger RNA (mRNA) and serum levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin 12, and interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) by both stock LPS and purified LPS challenges compared with nonprimed controls. In contrast, P. acnes failed to sensitize to TLR2 ligands (peptidoglycan + lipoteichoic acid). In the liver, P. acnes-priming was associated with up-regulation of TLR4 and MD-2 proteins, and subsequent LPS challenge further increased MD-2 and CD14 mRNA levels. The lack of sensitization to TLR2 ligands by P. acnes correlated with no increase in hepatic TLR1 or TLR6 mRNA. In vitro, P. acnes pretreatment desensitized RAW macrophages to a secondary stimulation via both TLR2 and TLR4. However, IFN-gamma could selectively prevent desensitization to TLR4 but not to TLR2 ligands. Furthermore, P. acnes induced production of IFN-gamma in vivo as well as in isolated splenocytes. In vitro, P. acnes-primed Hepa 1-6 hepatocytes but not RAW macrophages produced increased MD-2 and CD14 mRNA levels after an LPS challenge. In conclusion, P. acnes priming to selective TLR4-mediated liver injury is associated with up-regulation of TLR4 and MD-2 and is likely to involve IFN-gamma and prevent TLR4 desensitization by P. acnes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fatty liver is highly sensitive to inflammatory activation. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR) have anti-inflammatory effects and regulate lipid metabolism in the fatty liver. We hypothesized that fatty liver leads to endotoxin sensitivity through an imbalance between pro- and anti-inflammatory signals. Leptin-deficient, ob/ob mice and their lean littermates were challenged with single or double insults and pro- and anti-inflammatory pathways were tested on cytokine production and activation of nuclear regulatory factors NF-kappaB and peroxisome proliferator receptor element (PPRE). Ob/ob mice produced significantly higher serum tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin (IL) 6 and showed increased hepatic NF-kappaB activation compared to lean littermates after stimulation with a single dose of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or alcohol. In ob/ob mice, double insults with alcohol and LPS augmented proinflammatory responses mediated by increased degradation of inhibitory kappaB (IkappaB)-alpha and IkappaB-beta and preferential induction of the p65/p50 NF-kappaB heterodimer. In lean mice, in contrast, acute alcohol attenuated LPS-induced TNF-alpha, IL-6 production, and NF-kappaB activation through reduced IkappaB-alpha degradation and induction of p50/p50 homodimers. PPRE binding was increased in fatty but not in lean livers after alcohol or LPS stimulation. However, cotreatment with alcohol and LPS reduced both PPRE binding and nuclear levels of PPAR-alpha in fatty livers but increased those in lean livers. In conclusion, our results show opposite PPRE and NF-kappaB activation in fatty and lean livers. PPAR activation may represent an anti-inflammatory mechanism that fails in the fatty liver on increased proinflammatory pressure. Thus, an imbalance between PPAR-mediated anti-inflammatory and NF-kappaB-mediated proinflammatory signals may contribute to increased inflammation in the fatty liver.