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White adipose tissue (WAT) is a complex organ that plays a central role in systemic energy balance through its interrelated metabolic, endocrine, and immune functions. Adipocytes, the parenchymal cells of adipose tissue, have diverse functions that include storage and mobilization of lipids. They also release endocrine signals that report energy status to the brain, regulating metabolic functions in peripheral organs. Importantly, the metabolic character of white adipocytes is flexible, with cells capable of assuming distinct anabolic and catabolic/thermogenic phenotypes, often within the same adipose tissue depot

Elizabeth A. Rondini, Vanesa D. Ramseyer, Rayanne B. Burl, Roger Pique-Regi, James G. Granneman

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Current Issue

Exercise of high intensity ameliorates hepatic inflammation and the progression of NASH

Gavin Fredrickson, Fanta Barrow, Katrina Dietsche, Preethy Parthiban, ... Xavier S. Revelo

Objective

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) covers a wide spectrum of liver pathology ranging from simple fatty liver to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Notably, immune cell-driven inflammation is a key mechanism in the transition from fatty liver to the more serious NASH. Although exercise training is effective in ameliorating obesity-related diseases, the underlying mechanisms of the beneficial effects of exercise remain unclear. It is unknown whether there is an optimal modality and intensity of exercise to treat NAFLD. The objective of this study was to determine whether high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or moderate-intensity continuous training (MIT) is more effective at ameliorating the progression of NASH.

Methods

Wild-type mice were fed a high-fat, high-carbohydrate (HFHC) diet for 6 weeks and left sedentary (SED) or assigned to either an MIT or HIIT regimen using treadmill running for an additional 16 weeks. MIT and HIIT groups were pair-fed to ensure that energy intake was similar between the exercise cohorts. To determine changes in whole-body metabolism, we performed insulin and glucose tolerance tests, indirect calorimetry, and magnetic resonance imaging. NASH progression was determined by triglyceride accumulation, expression of inflammatory genes, and histological assessment of fibrosis. Immune cell populations in the liver were characterized by cytometry by time-of-flight mass spectrometry, and progenitor populations within the bone marrow were assessed by flow cytometry. Finally, we analyzed the transcriptional profile of the liver by bulk RNA sequencing.

Results

Compared with SED mice, both HIIT and MIT suppressed weight gain, improved whole-body metabolic parameters, and ameliorated the progression of NASH by reducing hepatic triglyceride levels, inflammation, and fibrosis. However, HIIT was superior to MIT at reducing adiposity, improving whole-body glucose tolerance, and ameliorating liver steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis, without any changes in body weight. Improved NASH progression in HIIT mice was accompanied by a substantial decrease in the frequency of pro-inflammatory infiltrating, monocyte-derived macrophages in the liver and reduced myeloid progenitor populations in the bone marrow. Notably, an acute bout of MIT or HIIT exercise had no effect on the intrahepatic and splenic immune cell populations. In addition, bulk mRNA sequencing of the entire liver tissue showed a pattern of gene expression confirming that HIIT was more effective than MIT in improving liver inflammation and lipid biosynthesis.

Conclusions

Our data suggest that exercise lessens hepatic inflammation during NASH by reducing the accumulation of hepatic monocyte-derived inflammatory macrophages and bone marrow precursor cells. Our findings also indicate that HIIT is superior to MIT in ameliorating the disease in a dietary mouse model of NASH.

Exercise of high intensity ameliorates hepatic inflammation and the progression of NASH

Gavin Fredrickson, Fanta Barrow, Katrina Dietsche, Preethy Parthiban, ... Xavier S. Revelo

Objective

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) covers a wide spectrum of liver pathology ranging from simple fatty liver to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Notably, immune cell-driven inflammation is a key mechanism in the transition from fatty liver to the more serious NASH. Although exercise training is effective in ameliorating obesity-related diseases, the underlying mechanisms of the beneficial effects of exercise remain unclear. It is unknown whether there is an optimal modality and intensity of exercise to treat NAFLD. The objective of this study was to determine whether high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or moderate-intensity continuous training (MIT) is more effective at ameliorating the progression of NASH.

Methods

Wild-type mice were fed a high-fat, high-carbohydrate (HFHC) diet for 6 weeks and left sedentary (SED) or assigned to either an MIT or HIIT regimen using treadmill running for an additional 16 weeks. MIT and HIIT groups were pair-fed to ensure that energy intake was similar between the exercise cohorts. To determine changes in whole-body metabolism, we performed insulin and glucose tolerance tests, indirect calorimetry, and magnetic resonance imaging. NASH progression was determined by triglyceride accumulation, expression of inflammatory genes, and histological assessment of fibrosis. Immune cell populations in the liver were characterized by cytometry by time-of-flight mass spectrometry, and progenitor populations within the bone marrow were assessed by flow cytometry. Finally, we analyzed the transcriptional profile of the liver by bulk RNA sequencing.

Results

Compared with SED mice, both HIIT and MIT suppressed weight gain, improved whole-body metabolic parameters, and ameliorated the progression of NASH by reducing hepatic triglyceride levels, inflammation, and fibrosis. However, HIIT was superior to MIT at reducing adiposity, improving whole-body glucose tolerance, and ameliorating liver steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis, without any changes in body weight. Improved NASH progression in HIIT mice was accompanied by a substantial decrease in the frequency of pro-inflammatory infiltrating, monocyte-derived macrophages in the liver and reduced myeloid progenitor populations in the bone marrow. Notably, an acute bout of MIT or HIIT exercise had no effect on the intrahepatic and splenic immune cell populations. In addition, bulk mRNA sequencing of the entire liver tissue showed a pattern of gene expression confirming that HIIT was more effective than MIT in improving liver inflammation and lipid biosynthesis.

Conclusions

Our data suggest that exercise lessens hepatic inflammation during NASH by reducing the accumulation of hepatic monocyte-derived inflammatory macrophages and bone marrow precursor cells. Our findings also indicate that HIIT is superior to MIT in ameliorating the disease in a dietary mouse model of NASH.

2020 impact factor: 7.4

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