Fatty liver vulnerability to endotoxin-induced damage despite NF-kappaB induction and inhibited caspase 3 activation.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Fatty livers are sensitive to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) damage. This study tests the hypothesis that this vulnerability occurs because protective, antiapoptotic mechanisms are not upregulated appropriately. Genetically obese, leptin-deficient ob/ob mice, a model for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and their lean litter mates were treated with a small dose of LPS. General measures of liver injury, early (i.e., cytochrome c release) and late (i.e., activation of caspase 3) events that occur during hepatocyte apoptosis, and various aspects of the signal transduction pathways that induce nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) and several of its antiapoptotic transcriptional targets (e.g., inducible nitric oxide synthase, bfl-1, and bcl-xL) were compared. Within 0.5-6 h after LPS exposure, cytochrome c begins to accumulate in the cytosol of normal livers, and procaspase 3 cleavage increases. Coincident with these events, kinases (e.g., AKT and Erk-1 and -2) that result in the degradation of inhibitor kappa-B are activated; NF-kappaB activity is induced, and NF-kappaB-regulated gene products accumulate. Throughout this period, there is negligible histological evidence of liver damage, and serum alanine aminotransferase values barely increase over baseline values. Although ob/ob livers have significant histological liver injury and 11-fold greater serum alanine aminotransferase values than those of lean mice by 6 h post-LPS, they exhibit greater activation of AKT and Erk, more profound reductions in inhibitor kappa-B, enhanced activation of NF-kappaB, and greater induction of NF-kappaB-regulated genes. Consistent with this heightened antiapoptotic response, increases in cytochrome c and procaspase 3 cleavage products are inhibited. Together with evidence that ob/ob hepatocytes have a reduced ATP content and undergo increased lysis after in vitro exposure to tumor necrosis factor-alpha, these findings suggest that fatty livers are sensitive to LPS damage because of vulnerability to necrosis, rather than because of apoptosis.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Yang, S; Lin, H; Diehl, AM

Published Date

  • August 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 281 / 2

Start / End Page

  • G382 - G392

PubMed ID

  • 11447019

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0193-1857

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1152/ajpgi.2001.281.2.G382


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States