Our laboratory has been actively studying the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease, focusing on the role of acetaldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) and prednisolone in alcoholic liver injury, and we have also developed a mouse model of chronic plus binge ethanol feeding model, which represents early stages of human alcoholic steatohepatitis. By using this model, we have demonstrated (1) that fat-specific protein 27 promotes development of alcoholic steatohepatitis, (2) Short- or long-term high-fat diet feeding plus acute ethanol binge synergistically induce acute liver injury in mice: An important role for CXCL1.(3) Invariant natural killer T cells contribute to chronic-plus-binge ethanol-mediated liver injury by promoting hepatic neutrophil infiltration. Fat-Specific Protein 27/CIDEC Promotes Development of Alcoholic Steatohepatitis in Mice and Humans. Alcoholic steatohepatitis (ASH) is the progressive form of alcoholic liver disease and may lead to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. We studied mouse models and human tissues to identify molecules associated with ASH progression and focused on the mouse fat-specific protein 27 (FSP-27)/human cell death-inducing DFF45-like effector C (CIDEC) protein, which is expressed in white adipose tissues and promotes formation of fat droplets. C57BL/6N mice or mice with hepatocyte-specific disruption of Fsp27 (Fsp27Hep-/- mice) were fed the Lieber-Decarli ethanol liquid diet (5% ethanol) for 10 days to 12 weeks, followed by 1 or multiple binges of ethanol (5 or 6 g/kg) during the chronic feeding. Some mice were given an inhibitor (GW9662) of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARG). Adenoviral vectors were used to express transgenes or small hairpin (sh) RNAs in cultured hepatocytes and in mice. Liver tissue samples were collected from ethanol-fed mice or from 31 patients with alcoholic hepatitis (AH) with biopsy-proved ASH and analyzed histologically and immunohistochemically and by transcriptome, immunoblotting, and real-time PCR analyses. Chronic-plus-binge ethanol feeding of mice, which mimics the drinking pattern of patients with AH, produced severe ASH and mild fibrosis. Microarray analyses revealed similar alterations in expression of many hepatic genes in ethanol-fed mice and humans with ASH, including up-regulation of mouse Fsp27 (also called Cidec) and human CIDEC. Fsp27Hep-/- mice and mice given injections of adenovirus-Fsp27shRNA had markedly reduced ASH following chronic-plus-binge ethanol feeding. Inhibition of PPARG and cyclic AMP-responsive element binding protein H (CREBH) prevented the increases in Fsp27α and FSP27β mRNAs, respectively, and reduced liver injury in this chronic-plus-binge ethanol feeding model. Overexpression of FSP27 and ethanol exposure had synergistic effects in inducing production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and damage to hepatocytes in mice. Hepatic CIDEC mRNA expression was increased in patients with AH and correlated with the degree of hepatic steatosis and disease severity including mortality. Conclusions: In mice, chronic-plus-binge ethanol feeding induces ASH that mimics some histological and molecular features observed in patients with AH. Hepatic expression of FSP27/CIDEC is highly up-regulated in mice following chronic-plus-binge ethanol feeding and in patients with AH; this up-regulation contributes to alcohol-induced liver damage. Short- or long-term high-fat diet feeding plus acute ethanol binge synergistically induce acute liver injury in mice: An important role for CXCL1. Obesity and alcohol consumption often coexist and work synergistically to promote steatohepatitis; however, the underlying mechanisms remain obscure. Here, we demonstrate that feeding mice a high-fat diet (HFD) for as little as 3 days markedly exacerbated acute ethanol binge-induced liver neutrophil infiltration and injury. Feeding mice with an HFD for 3 months plus a single binge of ethanol induced much more severe steatohepatitis. Moreover, 3-day or 3-month HFD-plus-ethanol binge (3d-HFD+ethanol or 3m-HFD+ethanol) treatment markedly up-regulated the hepatic expression of several chemokines, including chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1 (Cxcl1), which showed the highest fold (approximately 20-fold and 35-fold, respectively) induction. Serum CXCL1 protein levels were also markedly elevated after the HFD+ethanol treatment. Blockade of CXCL1 with a CXCL1 neutralizing antibody or genetic deletion of the Cxcl1 gene reduced the HFD+ethanol-induced hepatic neutrophil infiltration and injury, whereas overexpression of Cxcl1 exacerbated steatohepatitis in HFD-fed mice. Furthermore, expression of Cxcl1 messenger RNA was up-regulated in hepatocytes, hepatic stellate cells, and endothelial cells isolated from HFD+ethanol-fed mice compared to mice that were only given the HFD, with the highest fold induction observed in hepatocytes. In vitro stimulation of hepatocytes with palmitic acid up-regulated the expression of Cxcl1 messenger RNA, and this up-regulation was attenuated after treatment with an inhibitor of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, or nuclear factor κB. In addition, hepatic or serum levels of free fatty acids were higher in HFD+ethanol-fed mice than in the control groups. Conclusion: An HFD combined with acute ethanol consumption synergistically induces acute liver inflammation and injury through the elevation of hepatic or serum free fatty acids and subsequent up-regulation of hepatic CXCL1 expression and promotion of hepatic neutrophil infiltration. (Hepatology 2015). Invariant natural killer T cells contribute to chronic-plus-binge ethanol-mediated liver injury by promoting hepatic neutrophil infiltration. Neutrophil infiltration is a hallmark of alcoholic steatohepatitis; however, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We previously reported that chronic-plus-binge ethanol feeding synergistically induces hepatic recruitment of neutrophils, which contributes to liver injury. In this paper, we investigated the roles of invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells in chronic-plus-binge ethanol feeding-induced hepatic neutrophil infiltration and liver injury. Wild-type and two strains of iNKT cell-deficient mice (CD1d- and Jα18-deficient mice) were subjected to chronic-plus-binge ethanol feeding. Liver injury and inflammation were examined. Chronic-plus-binge ethanol feeding synergistically increased the number of hepatic iNKT cells and induced their activation, compared with chronic feeding or binge alone. iNKT cell-deficient mice were protected from chronic-plus-binge ethanol-induced hepatic neutrophil infiltration and liver injury. Moreover, chronic-plus-binge ethanol feeding markedly upregulated the hepatic expression of several genes associated with inflammation and neutrophil recruitment in wild-type mice, but induction of these genes was abrogated in iNKT cell-deficient mice. Importantly, several cytokines and chemokines (e.g., MIP-2, MIP-1, IL-4, IL-6 and osteopontin) involved in neutrophil infiltration were upregulated in hepatic NKT cells isolated from chronic-plus-binge ethanol-fed mice compared to pair-fed mice. Finally, treatment with CD1d blocking antibody, which blocks iNKT cell activation, partially prevented chronic-plus-binge ethanol-induced liver injury and inflammation. Chronic-plus-binge ethanol feeding activates hepatic iNKT cells, which play a critical role in the development of early alcoholic liver injury, in part by releasing mediators that recruit neutrophils to the liver, and thus, iNKT cells represent a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of alcoholic liver disease.

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Ouyang, Xinshou; Han, Sheng-Na; Zhang, Ji-Yuan et al. (2018) Digoxin Suppresses Pyruvate Kinase M2-Promoted HIF-1? Transactivation in Steatohepatitis. Cell Metab 27:1156
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