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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and its relationship with cardiovascular disease and other... Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and its relationship with cardiovascular disease and other...

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Date added: 05/27/2018
Date modified: 05/27/2018
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"Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and its relationship with cardiovascular disease and other extrahepatic diseases"

Key physiological functions of the liver, including glucose and lipid metabolism, become disturbed in the setting of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and may be associated with a systemic inflammatory ‘milieu’ initiated in part by liver-secreted cytokines and molecules. Consequently, the pathophysiological effects of NAFLD extend beyond the liver with a large body of clinical evidence demonstrating NAFLD to be independently associated with both prevalent and incident cardiovascular disease (CVD), chronic kidney disease (CKD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The magnitude of risk of developing these extrahepatic diseases parallels the underlying severity of NAFLD, such that patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) appear to be at greater risk of incident CVD, CKD and T2DM than those with simple steatosis. Other modifiers of risk may include genetic variants (e.g. patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing 3 and trans-membrane 6 superfamily member 2 polymorphisms), visceral adipose tissue accumulation, dietary intake and the gut microbiome. Emerging data also suggest that NAFLD may be a risk factor for colonic neoplasia and reduced bone mineral density, especially among men. Importantly, improvement/resolution of NAFLD is associated with a reduced incidence of T2DM and improved kidney function, adding weight to causality and suggesting liver focused treatments may reduce risk of extrahepatic complications. Awareness of these associations is important for the clinicians such that CVD risk factor management, screening for T2DM and CKD are part of the routine management of patients with NAFLD.

MBOAT7 rs641738 variant and hepatocellular carcinoma in non-cirrhotic individuals MBOAT7 rs641738 variant and hepatocellular carcinoma in non-cirrhotic individuals

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Date added: 06/02/2018
Date modified: 06/02/2018
Filesize: 1.44 MB
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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) represents an emerging cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), especially in non-cirrhotic individuals. The rs641738 C > T MBOAT7/TMC4 variant predisposes to progressive NAFLD, but the impact on hepatic carcinogenesis is unknown. In Italian NAFLD patients, the rs641738 T allele was associated with NAFLD-HCC (OR 1.65, 1.08–2.55; n = 765), particularly in those without advanced fibrosis (p < 0.001). The risk T allele was linked to 3’-UTR variation in MBOAT7 and to reduced MBOAT7 expression in patients without severe fibrosis. The number of PNPLA3, TM6SF2, and MBOAT7 risk variants was associated with NAFLD-HCC independently of clinical factors (p < 0.001), but did not significantly improve their predictive accuracy. When combining data from an independent UK NAFLD cohort, in the overall cohort of non-cirrhotic patients (n = 913, 41 with HCC) the T allele remained associated with HCC (OR 2.10, 1.33–3.31). Finally, in a combined cohort of non-cirrhotic patients with chronic hepatitis C or alcoholic liver disease (n = 1121), the T allele was independently associated with HCC risk (OR 1.93, 1.07–3.58). In conclusion, the MBOAT7 rs641738 T allele is associated with reduced MBOAT7 expression and may predispose to HCC in patients without cirrhosis, suggesting it should be evaluated in future prospective studies aimed at stratifying NAFLD-HCC risk.

Liver fibrosis: Direct antifibrotic agents and targeted therapies Liver fibrosis: Direct antifibrotic agents and targeted therapies

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Date added: 12/31/2018
Date modified: 12/31/2018
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Liver fibrosis and in particular cirrhosis are the major causes of morbidity and mortality of patients with chronic liver disease. Their prevention or reversal have become major endpoints in clinical trials with novel liver specific drugs. Remarkable progress has been made with therapies that efficiently address the cause of the underlying liver disease, as in chronic hepatitis B and C. Highly effective antiviral therapy can prevent progression or even induce reversal in the majority of patients, but such treatment remains elusive for the majority of liver patients with advanced alcoholic or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, genetic or autoimmune liver diseases. Moreover, drugs that would speed up fibrosis reversal are needed for patients with cirrhosis, since even with effective causal therapy reversal is slow or the disease may further progress. Therefore, highly efficient and specific antifibrotic agents are needed that can address advanced fibrosis, i.e., the detrimental downstream result of all chronic liver diseases. This review discusses targeted antifibrotic therapies that address molecules and mechanisms that are central to fibrogenesis or fibrolysis, including strategies that allow targeting of activated hepatic stellate cells and myofibroblasts and other fibrogenic effector cells. Focus is on collagen synthesis, integrins and cells and mechanisms specific including specific downregulation of TGFbeta signaling, major extracellular matrix (ECM) components, ECM-crosslinking, and ECM-receptors such as integrins and discoidin domain receptors, ECM-crosslinking and methods for targeted delivery of small interfering RNA, antisense oligonucleotides and small molecules to increase potency and reduce side effects. With an increased understanding of the biology of the ECM and liver fibrosis and an improved preclinical validation, the translation of these approaches to the clinic is currently ongoing. Application to patients with liver fibrosis and a personalized treatment is tightly linked to the development of non-invasive biomarkers of fibrosis, fibrogenesis and fibrolysis.

Lipotoxicity, obesity and metabolic diseases Lipotoxicity, obesity and metabolic diseases

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Date added: 03/07/2017
Date modified: 03/07/2017
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Article published in the Newsletter of the Spanish Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SEBBM)

Lipid Zonation and Phospholipid Remodeling in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Lipid Zonation and Phospholipid Remodeling in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

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Date added: 08/22/2017
Date modified: 08/22/2017
Filesize: 1.49 MB
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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can progress from simple steatosis (i.e., nonalcoholic fatty liver [NAFL]) to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis, and cancer. Currently, the driver for this progression is not fully understood; in particular, it is not known how NAFLD and its early progression affects the distribution of lipids in the liver, producing lipotoxicity and inflammation. In this study, we used dietary and genetic mouse models of NAFL and NASH and translated the results to humans by correlating the spatial distribution of lipids in liver tissue with disease progression using advanced mass spectrometry imaging technology. We identified several lipids with distinct zonal distributions in control and NAFL samples and observed partial to complete loss of lipid zonation in NASH. In addition, we found increased hepatic expression of genes associated with remodeling the phospholipid membrane, release of arachidonic acid (AA) from the membrane, and production of eicosanoid species that promote inflammation and cell injury. The results of our immunohistochemistry analyses suggest that the zonal location of remodeling enzyme LPCAT2 plays a role in the change in spatial distribution for AA-containing lipids. This results in a cycle of AA-enrichment in pericentral hepatocytes, membrane release of AA, and generation of proinflammatory eicosanoids and may account for increased oxidative damage in pericentral regions in NASH. Conclusion: NAFLD is associated not only with lipid enrichment, but also with zonal changes of specific lipids and their associated metabolic pathways. This may play a role in the heterogeneous development of NAFLD.

Insulin resistance and reduced metabolic flexibility: cause or consequence of NAFLD? Insulin resistance and reduced metabolic flexibility: cause or consequence of NAFLD?

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Date added: 08/07/2018
Date modified: 08/07/2018
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Whether non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) precedes insulin resistance (IR) or IR preludes/causes NAFLD has been long debated. Recent studies have shown that there are two phenotypes of NAFLD, ‘genetic’ vs ‘metabolic’ NAFLD. The former patients are more at risk of hepatocellular carcinoma and chronic liver disease the latter are more IR and at increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Even if they are not yet diabetics, from a metabolic point of view having NAFLD is equivalent to T2D with reduced peripheral glucose disposal and impaired suppression of hepatic glucose production, but without fasting hyperglycaemia. T2D develops only when hepatic autoregulation is lost and glucose production exceeds the capacity of muscle glucose disposal.

In NAFLD adipocytes are resistant to the effect of insulin, lipolysis is increased and excess plasma free fatty acids (FFA) are taken up by other organs (mainly liver) where they are stored as lipid droplets or oxidized. Increased adiposity is associated with worsen severity of both ‘genetic’ and ‘metabolic’ NAFLD. FFA oxidative metabolism is increased in NAFLD and not shifted towards glucose during insulin infusion. Although this reduced metabolic flexibility is an early predictor of T2D, it can be seen also as a protective mechanism against excess FFA.

In conclusion, IR precedes and causes ‘metabolic’ NAFLD, but not ‘genetic’ NAFLD. Reduced metabolic flexibility in NAFLD might be seen as a protective mechanism against FFA overflow, but together with IR remains a strong risk factor for T2D that develops with the worsening of hepatic regulation of glucose production.

Inflammation induced IgA+ cells dismantle anti-liver cancer immunity Inflammation induced IgA+ cells dismantle anti-liver cancer immunity

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Date added: 08/07/2018
Date modified: 08/07/2018
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The role of adaptive immunity in early cancer development is controversial. Here we show that chronic inflammation and fibrosis in humans and mice with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is accompanied by accumulation of liver-resident immunoglobulin-A-producing (IgA+) cells. These cells also express programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) and interleukin-10, and directly suppress liver cytotoxic CD8+ T lymphocytes, which prevent emergence of hepatocellular carcinoma and express a limited repertoire of T-cell receptors against tumour-associated antigens. Whereas CD8+ T-cell ablation accelerates hepatocellular carcinoma, genetic or pharmacological interference with IgA+ cell generation attenuates liver carcinogenesis and induces cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-mediated regression of established hepatocellular carcinoma. These findings establish the importance of inflammation-induced suppression of cytotoxic CD8+ T-lymphocyte activation as a tumour-promoting mechanism.

Impaired hepatic lipid synthesis from polyunsaturated fatty acids in TM6SF2 E167K variant carriers.. Impaired hepatic lipid synthesis from polyunsaturated fatty acids in TM6SF2 E167K variant carriers..

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Date added: 06/02/2018
Date modified: 06/02/2018
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"Impaired hepatic lipid synthesis from polyunsaturated fatty acids in TM6SF2 E167K variant carriers with NAFLD"

Background:
Carriers of the transmembrane 6 superfamily member 2 E167K gene variant (TM6SF2^EK/KK) have decreased expression of the TM6SF2 gene and increased risk of NAFLD and NASH. Unlike common ‘obese/metabolic’ NAFLD, these subjects lack hypertriglyceridemia and have lower risk of cardiovascular disease. In animals, phosphatidylcholine (PC) deficiency results in a similar phenotype. PCs surround the core of VLDL consisting of triglycerides (TGs) and cholesteryl-esters (CEs). We determined the effect of the TM6SF2 E167K on these lipids in the human liver and serum and on hepatic gene expression and studied the effect of TM6SF2 knockdown on hepatocyte handling of these lipids.

Methods:
Liver biopsies were taken from subjects characterized with respect to the TM6SF2 genotype, serum and liver lipidome, gene expression and histology. In vitro, after TM6SF2 knockdown in HuH-7 cells, we compared incorporation of different fatty acids into TGs, CEs, and PCs.

Results:
The TM6SF2^EK/KK and TM6SF2^EE groups had similar age, gender, BMI and HOMA-IR. Liver TGs and CEs were higher and liver PCs lower in the TM6SF2^EK/KK than the TM6SF2^EE group (p <0.05). Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) were deficient in liver and serum TGs and liver PCs but hepatic free fatty acids were relatively enriched in PUFA (p <0.05). Incorporation of PUFA into TGs and PCs in TM6SF2 knockdown hepatocytes was decreased (p <0.05). Hepatic expression of TM6SF2 was decreased in variant carriers, and was co-expressed with genes regulated by PUFAs.

Conclusions:
Hepatic lipid synthesis from PUFAs is impaired and could contribute to deficiency in PCs and increased intrahepatic TG in TM6SF2 E167K variant carriers.

Hypoxia-inducible factor 2α drives nonalcoholic fatty liver progression by triggering hepatocyte... Hypoxia-inducible factor 2α drives nonalcoholic fatty liver progression by triggering hepatocyte...

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Date added: 02/13/2019
Date modified: 02/13/2019
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"Hypoxia-inducible factor 2α drives nonalcoholic fatty liver progression by triggering hepatocyte release of histidine rich glycoprotein"

Mechanisms underlying progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are still incompletely characterized. Hypoxia and hypoxia‐inducible factors (HIFs) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic liver diseases, but the actual role of HIF‐2α in the evolution of NAFLD has never been investigated in detail. In this study, we show that HIF‐2α is selectively overexpressed in the cytosol and the nuclei of hepatocytes in a very high percentage (>90%) of liver biopsies from a cohort of NAFLD patients at different stages of the disease evolution. Similar features were also observed in mice with steatohepatitis induced by feeding a methionine/choline‐deficient diet. Experiments performed in mice carrying hepatocyte‐specific deletion of HIF‐2α and related control littermates fed either a choline‐deficient L‐amino acid–defined or a methionine/choline‐deficient diet showed that HIF‐2α deletion ameliorated the evolution of NAFLD by decreasing parenchymal injury, fatty liver, lobular inflammation, and the development of liver fibrosis. The improvement in NAFLD progression in HIF‐2α‐deficient mice was related to a selective down‐regulation in the hepatocyte production of histidine‐rich glycoprotein (HRGP), recently proposed to sustain macrophage M1 polarization. In vitro experiments confirmed that the up‐regulation of hepatocyte HRGP expression was hypoxia‐dependent and HIF‐2α‐dependent. Finally, analyses performed on specimens from NAFLD patients indicated that HRGP was overexpressed in all patients showing hepatocyte nuclear staining for HIF‐2α and revealed a significant positive correlation between HIF‐2α and HRGP liver transcript levels in these patients. Conclusions: These results indicate that hepatocyte HIF‐2α activation is a key feature in both human and experimental NAFLD and significantly contributes to the disease progression through the up‐regulation of HRGP production.

Glucose kinetics: an update and novel insights into its regulation by glucagon and GLP-1 Glucose kinetics: an update and novel insights into its regulation by glucagon and GLP-1

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Date added: 05/27/2018
Date modified: 05/27/2018
Filesize: 256 Bytes
Downloads: 630

Purpose of review
Glucagon and GLP-1 share the same origin (i.e., proglucagon); primarily GLP-1 is generated from intestinal L-cells and glucagon from pancreatic α-cell, but intestinal glucagon and pancreatic GLP-1 secretion is likely. Glucose kinetics are tightly regulated by pancreatic hormones insulin and glucagon, but other hormones, including glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), also play an important role. The purpose of this review is to describe the recent findings on the mechanisms by which these two hormones regulate glucose kinetics.

Recent findings
Recent findings showed new important mechanisms of action of glucagon and GLP-1 in the regulation of glucose metabolism. Knock out of glucagon receptors protects against hyperglycemia without causing hypoglycemia. GLP-1 not only stimulates insulin secretion, but it has also an independent effect on the liver and inhibits glucose production. Moreover, when coinfused with glucagon, GLP-1 limits the hyperglycemic effects. Both hormones have also central effects on gastric emptying (delayed), intestinal motility (reduced), and satiety (increased).

Summary
The implications of these findings are very important for the management of type 2 diabetes given that GLP-1 receptor agonist are currently approved for the treatment of hyperglycemia and glucagon receptor antagonists and GLP-1/glucagon dual agonists are under development.