Cover Story Current Issue

The prevalence of obesity and type II diabetes is growing globally at rates indicating that environment rather than genes is the principal driver. Exposures to high-fat diet and toxicants, as well as micronutrient deficiency, can impact our health and that of future generations. Only now are we beginning to identify mechanisms linking these exposures to parental and offspring health. One connection between environment and health is the epigenome. The epigenome refers to the biochemical content associated with DNA that impacts gene expression and chromatin organization. Uncovering how genomic information is organized and regulated through epigenetic processes to control gene expression and cell functions in the next generation is still in a nascent stage. 

Anne-Sophie Pepin, Christine Lafleur, Romain Lambrot, Vanessa Dumeaux, Sarah Kimmins

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Current Issue

Serum amyloid A1 exacerbates hepatic steatosis via TLR4-mediated NF-κB signaling pathway

Bin Jiang, Dongdong Wang, Yunfu Hu, Wenxuan Li, ... Qi Chen

Objective

Chronic inflammatory response plays a prominent role in obesity-related nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, the intrahepatic triggering mechanism of inflammation remains obscure. This study aimed to elucidate the role of serum amyloid A1 (SAA1), an acute-phase response protein, in the obesity-induced hepatic inflammation and NAFLD.

Methods

Male mice were fed a high fat diet (HFD) for 16 weeks, and insulin resistance, hepatic steatosis, and inflammation in mice were monitored. Murine SAA1/2 was genetically manipulated to investigate the role of SAA1 in NAFLD.

Results

We found that SAA1 was increased in the NAFLD liver in both humans and mice. Knockout of SAA1/2 or knockdown of hepatic SAA1/2 promoted energy expenditure and alleviated HFD-induced metabolic disorder, hepatic steatosis, and inflammation. Endogenous overexpression of SAA1 in hepatocytes by adeno-associated virus 8 (AAV8) transfection aggravated overnutrition-associated gain of body weight, insulin resistance, hepatic lipid accumulation, and liver injury, which were markedly alleviated by knockout of murine toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). Mechanistically, SAA1 directly bound with TLR4/myeloid differentiation 2 (MD2) to induce TLR4 internalization, leading to the activation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB signaling and production of both SAA1 and other inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-6 and C–C chemokine ligand (CCL2) in hepatocytes. Administration of HFD mice with an AAV8-shRNA-SAA1/2 showed a therapeutic effect on hepatic inflammation and NAFLD progression.

Conclusions

These results demonstrate that SAA1 triggers hepatic steatosis and intrahepatic inflammatory response by forming a SAA1/TLR4/NF-κB/SAA1 feedforward regulatory circuit, which, in turn, leads to NAFLD progression. SAA1 may act as a potential target for the disease intervention.

Serum amyloid A1 exacerbates hepatic steatosis via TLR4-mediated NF-κB signaling pathway

Bin Jiang, Dongdong Wang, Yunfu Hu, Wenxuan Li, ... Qi Chen

Objective

Chronic inflammatory response plays a prominent role in obesity-related nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, the intrahepatic triggering mechanism of inflammation remains obscure. This study aimed to elucidate the role of serum amyloid A1 (SAA1), an acute-phase response protein, in the obesity-induced hepatic inflammation and NAFLD.

Methods

Male mice were fed a high fat diet (HFD) for 16 weeks, and insulin resistance, hepatic steatosis, and inflammation in mice were monitored. Murine SAA1/2 was genetically manipulated to investigate the role of SAA1 in NAFLD.

Results

We found that SAA1 was increased in the NAFLD liver in both humans and mice. Knockout of SAA1/2 or knockdown of hepatic SAA1/2 promoted energy expenditure and alleviated HFD-induced metabolic disorder, hepatic steatosis, and inflammation. Endogenous overexpression of SAA1 in hepatocytes by adeno-associated virus 8 (AAV8) transfection aggravated overnutrition-associated gain of body weight, insulin resistance, hepatic lipid accumulation, and liver injury, which were markedly alleviated by knockout of murine toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). Mechanistically, SAA1 directly bound with TLR4/myeloid differentiation 2 (MD2) to induce TLR4 internalization, leading to the activation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB signaling and production of both SAA1 and other inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-6 and C–C chemokine ligand (CCL2) in hepatocytes. Administration of HFD mice with an AAV8-shRNA-SAA1/2 showed a therapeutic effect on hepatic inflammation and NAFLD progression.

Conclusions

These results demonstrate that SAA1 triggers hepatic steatosis and intrahepatic inflammatory response by forming a SAA1/TLR4/NF-κB/SAA1 feedforward regulatory circuit, which, in turn, leads to NAFLD progression. SAA1 may act as a potential target for the disease intervention.

2021 impact factor: 7.422

The 60 Second Metabolist

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

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