Cover Story Current Issue

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) encompasses a set of pathologies associated with ectopic lipid accumulationin hepatocytes. NAFLD can progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), an inflammatory condition which is increasing in prevalence in parallel with other diseases connected to lipid metabolism, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. NASH is characterized by hepatic necrosis, increased inflammatory signaling, immune cell infiltration, and the potential to progress to fibrosis, cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and ultimately liver failure.

David Montefusco, Maryam Jamil, Melissa A. Maczis, William Schroeder, ... L. Ashley Cowart

Full text

 

Current Issue

URAT1-selective inhibition ameliorates insulin resistance by attenuating diet-induced hepatic steatosis and brown adipose tissue whitening in mice

Yoshiro Tanaka, Tomohisa Nagoshi, Hirotake Takahashi, Yuhei Oi, ... Michihiro Yoshimura

Vicious cycle of URAT1 activity and insulin resistance in the pathophysiology of metabolic syndrome. The impacts of URAT1 is amplified in metabolic syndrome via persistent exposure to hyperinsulinemia. Conversely, enhanced URAT1 action induces insulin resistance in metabolic syndrome, leading to a vicious cycle. URAT1-selective inhibitor may be particularly effective in reducing hyperuricemia associated with insulin-resistant metabolic disorders by severing this vicious cycle.

Objective

Accumulating evidence indicates that high uric acid (UA) is strongly associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome and drives the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and insulin resistance. Although urate transporter-1 (URAT1), which is primarily expressed in the kidneys, plays a critical role in the development of hyperuricemia, its pathophysiological implication in NAFLD and insulin resistance remains unclear. We herein investigated the role and functional significance of URAT1 in diet-induced obese mice.

Methods

Mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 16–18 weeks or a normal-fat diet (NFD) were treated with or without a novel oral URAT1-selective inhibitor (dotinurad [50 mg/kg/day]) for another 4 weeks.

Results

We found that URAT1 was also expressed in the liver and brown adipose tissue(BAT) other than the kidneys. Dotinurad administration significantly ameliorated HFD-induced obesity and insulin resistance. HFD markedly induced NAFLD, which was characterized by severe hepatic steatosis as well as the elevation of serum ALTactivity and tissue inflammatory cytokine genes (chemokine ligand 2 (Ccl2) and tissue necrosis factor α (TNFα)), all of which were attenuated by dotinurad. Similarly, HFD significantly increased URAT1 expression in BAT, resulting in lipid accumulation (whitening of BAT), and increased the production of tissue reactive oxygen species (ROS), which were reduced by dotinurad via UCP1 activation.

Conclusions

In conclusion, a novel URAT1-selective inhibitor, dotinurad, ameliorates insulin resistance by attenuating hepatic steatosis and promoting rebrowning of lipid-rich BAT in HFD-induced obese mice. URAT1 serves as a key regulator of the pathophysiology of metabolic syndrome and may be a new therapeutic target for insulin-resistant individuals, particularly those with concomitant NAFLD.

 

URAT1-selective inhibition ameliorates insulin resistance by attenuating diet-induced hepatic steatosis and brown adipose tissue whitening in mice

Yoshiro Tanaka, Tomohisa Nagoshi, Hirotake Takahashi, Yuhei Oi, ... Michihiro Yoshimura

Vicious cycle of URAT1 activity and insulin resistance in the pathophysiology of metabolic syndrome. The impacts of URAT1 is amplified in metabolic syndrome via persistent exposure to hyperinsulinemia. Conversely, enhanced URAT1 action induces insulin resistance in metabolic syndrome, leading to a vicious cycle. URAT1-selective inhibitor may be particularly effective in reducing hyperuricemia associated with insulin-resistant metabolic disorders by severing this vicious cycle.

Objective

Accumulating evidence indicates that high uric acid (UA) is strongly associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome and drives the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and insulin resistance. Although urate transporter-1 (URAT1), which is primarily expressed in the kidneys, plays a critical role in the development of hyperuricemia, its pathophysiological implication in NAFLD and insulin resistance remains unclear. We herein investigated the role and functional significance of URAT1 in diet-induced obese mice.

Methods

Mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 16–18 weeks or a normal-fat diet (NFD) were treated with or without a novel oral URAT1-selective inhibitor (dotinurad [50 mg/kg/day]) for another 4 weeks.

Results

We found that URAT1 was also expressed in the liver and brown adipose tissue(BAT) other than the kidneys. Dotinurad administration significantly ameliorated HFD-induced obesity and insulin resistance. HFD markedly induced NAFLD, which was characterized by severe hepatic steatosis as well as the elevation of serum ALTactivity and tissue inflammatory cytokine genes (chemokine ligand 2 (Ccl2) and tissue necrosis factor α (TNFα)), all of which were attenuated by dotinurad. Similarly, HFD significantly increased URAT1 expression in BAT, resulting in lipid accumulation (whitening of BAT), and increased the production of tissue reactive oxygen species (ROS), which were reduced by dotinurad via UCP1 activation.

Conclusions

In conclusion, a novel URAT1-selective inhibitor, dotinurad, ameliorates insulin resistance by attenuating hepatic steatosis and promoting rebrowning of lipid-rich BAT in HFD-induced obese mice. URAT1 serves as a key regulator of the pathophysiology of metabolic syndrome and may be a new therapeutic target for insulin-resistant individuals, particularly those with concomitant NAFLD.

 

2021 impact factor: 8.568

The 60 Second Metabolist

In this section authors briefly report on their work recently published in Molecular Metabolism.

Watch the most recent interviews by clicking the video still. 

Here is a video of Vimeo. When the iframes is activated, a connection to Vimeo is established and, if necessary, cookies from Vimeo are also used. For further information on cookies policy click here.