||Relevance of FXR-p62/SQSTM1 pathway for survival and protection of mouse hepatocytes and liver, especially with steatosis
Haga, Sanae ,
, p.9 , 2017-01-13 , BioMed Central
Background: Liver injury and regeneration involve complicated processes and are affected by various physiopathological conditions. Surgically, severe liver injury after surgical resection often leads to fatal liver failure, especially with some underlying pathological conditions such as steatosis. Therefore, protection from the injury of hepatocytes and liver is a serious concern in various clinical settings. Methods: We studied the effects of the farnesoid X receptor (FXR) on cell survival and steatosis in mouse hepatocytes (AML12 mouse liver cells) and investigated their molecular mechanisms. We next studied whether or not FXR improves liver injury, regeneration and steatosis in a mouse model of partial hepatectomy (PH) with steatosis. Results: An FXR-specific agonist, GW4064, induced expressions of the p62/SQSTM1 gene and protein in AML12 mouse liver cells. Because we previously reported p62/SQSTM1 as a key molecule for antioxidation and cell survival in hepatocytes, we next examined the activation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) and induction of the antioxidant molecules by GW4064. GW4064 activated Nrf2 and subsequently induced antioxidant molecules (Nrf2, catalase, HO-1, and thioredoxin). We also examined expressions of pro-survival and cell protective molecules associated with p62/SQSTM1. Expectedly, GW4064 induced phosphorylation of Akt, expression of the anti-apoptotic molecules (Bcl-xL and Bcl-2), and reduced harmful hepatic molecules (Fas ligand and Fas). GW4064 promoted hepatocyte survival, which was cancelled by p62/SQSTM1 siRNA. These findings suggest the potential relevance of the FXR-p62/SQSTM1 pathway for the survival and protection of hepatocytes. Furthermore, GW4064 induced the expression of small heterodimer partners (SHP) and suppressed liver X receptor (LXR)-induced steatosis in hepatocytes, expecting the in vivo protective effect of FXR on liver injury especially with steatosis. In the hepatectomy model of db/db mice with fatty liver, pre-treatment by GW4064 significantly reduced post-PH liver injury (serum levels of LDH, AST & ALT and histological study) and improved steatosis. The key molecules, p62/SQSTM1, Nrf2 and SHP were upregulated in fatty liver tissue by GW4064 treatment. Conclusions: The present study is the first to demonstrate the relevance of FXR-p62/SQSTM1 and-SHP in the protection against injury of hepatocytes and post-PH liver, especially with steatosis.