Cover Story Current Issue

Alterations in mitochondrial structure and function are commonly observed in adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases. In ALS, mitochondrial dysfunction impairs the efficiency of electron transport chain (ETC) activity and ATP production and leads to the accumulation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, abnormal handling of intracellular calcium and cytochrome C release and apoptosis. The extent to which these alterations in mitochondrial functionimpair cellular operations is unclear. Therapeutic intervention based on combating these mitochondrial abnormalities have displayed variable success in mouse models of ALS and humans, as reviewed in Vandoorne et al.

Sean-Patrick Riechers, Jelena Mojsilovic-Petrovic, Tayler B. Belton, Ram P. Chakrabarty, ... Robert G. Kalb

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Proteomic analysis reveals exercise training induced remodelling of hepatokine secretion and uncovers syndecan-4 as a regulator of hepatic lipid metabolism

William De Nardo, Paula M. Miotto, Jacqueline Bayliss, Shuai Nie, ... Matthew J. Watt

Objective

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is linked to impaired lipid metabolism and systemic insulin resistance, which is partly mediated by altered secretion of liver proteins known as hepatokines. Regular physical activity can resolve NAFLD and improve its metabolic comorbidities, however, the effects of exercise training on hepatokine secretion and the metabolic impact of exercise-regulated hepatokines in NAFLD remain unresolved. Herein, we examined the effect of endurance exercise training on hepatocyte secreted proteins with the aim of identifying proteins that regulate metabolism and reduce NAFLD severity.

Methods

C57BL/6 mice were fed a high-fat diet for six weeks to induce NAFLD. Mice were exercise trained for a further six weeks, while the control group remained sedentary. Hepatocytes were isolated two days after the last exercise bout, and intracellular and secreted proteins were detected using label-free mass spectrometry. Hepatocyte secreted factors were applied to skeletal muscle and liver ex vivo and insulin action and fatty acid metabolism were assessed. Syndecan-4 (SDC4), identified as an exercise-responsive hepatokine, was overexpressed in the livers of mice using adeno-associated virus. Whole-body energy homeostasis was assessed by indirect calorimetry and skeletal muscle and liver metabolism was assessed using radiometric techniques.

Results

Proteomics analysis detected 2657 intracellular and 1593 secreted proteins from mouse hepatocytes. Exercise training remodelled the hepatocyte proteome, with differences in 137 intracellular and 35 secreted proteins. Bioinformatic analysis of hepatocyte secreted proteins revealed enrichment of tumour suppressive proteins and proteins involved in lipid metabolism and mitochondrial function, and suppression of oncogenes and regulators of oxidative stress. Hepatocyte secreted factors from exercise trained mice improved insulin action in skeletal muscle and increased hepatic fatty acid oxidation. Hepatocyte-specific overexpression of SDC4 reduced hepatic steatosis, which was associated with reduced hepatic fatty acid uptake, and blunted pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic gene expression. Treating hepatocytes with recombinant ectodomain of SDC4 (secreted form) recapitulated these effects with reduced fatty acid uptake, lipid storage and lipid droplet accumulation.

Conclusions

Remodelling of hepatokine secretion is an adaptation to regular exercise training that induces changes in metabolism in the liver and skeletal muscle. SDC4 is a novel exercise-responsive hepatokine that decreases fatty acid uptake and reduces steatosis in the liver. By understanding the proteomic changes in hepatocytes with exercise, these findings have potential for the discovery of new therapeutic targets for NAFLD.

Proteomic analysis reveals exercise training induced remodelling of hepatokine secretion and uncovers syndecan-4 as a regulator of hepatic lipid metabolism

William De Nardo, Paula M. Miotto, Jacqueline Bayliss, Shuai Nie, ... Matthew J. Watt

Objective

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is linked to impaired lipid metabolism and systemic insulin resistance, which is partly mediated by altered secretion of liver proteins known as hepatokines. Regular physical activity can resolve NAFLD and improve its metabolic comorbidities, however, the effects of exercise training on hepatokine secretion and the metabolic impact of exercise-regulated hepatokines in NAFLD remain unresolved. Herein, we examined the effect of endurance exercise training on hepatocyte secreted proteins with the aim of identifying proteins that regulate metabolism and reduce NAFLD severity.

Methods

C57BL/6 mice were fed a high-fat diet for six weeks to induce NAFLD. Mice were exercise trained for a further six weeks, while the control group remained sedentary. Hepatocytes were isolated two days after the last exercise bout, and intracellular and secreted proteins were detected using label-free mass spectrometry. Hepatocyte secreted factors were applied to skeletal muscle and liver ex vivo and insulin action and fatty acid metabolism were assessed. Syndecan-4 (SDC4), identified as an exercise-responsive hepatokine, was overexpressed in the livers of mice using adeno-associated virus. Whole-body energy homeostasis was assessed by indirect calorimetry and skeletal muscle and liver metabolism was assessed using radiometric techniques.

Results

Proteomics analysis detected 2657 intracellular and 1593 secreted proteins from mouse hepatocytes. Exercise training remodelled the hepatocyte proteome, with differences in 137 intracellular and 35 secreted proteins. Bioinformatic analysis of hepatocyte secreted proteins revealed enrichment of tumour suppressive proteins and proteins involved in lipid metabolism and mitochondrial function, and suppression of oncogenes and regulators of oxidative stress. Hepatocyte secreted factors from exercise trained mice improved insulin action in skeletal muscle and increased hepatic fatty acid oxidation. Hepatocyte-specific overexpression of SDC4 reduced hepatic steatosis, which was associated with reduced hepatic fatty acid uptake, and blunted pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic gene expression. Treating hepatocytes with recombinant ectodomain of SDC4 (secreted form) recapitulated these effects with reduced fatty acid uptake, lipid storage and lipid droplet accumulation.

Conclusions

Remodelling of hepatokine secretion is an adaptation to regular exercise training that induces changes in metabolism in the liver and skeletal muscle. SDC4 is a novel exercise-responsive hepatokine that decreases fatty acid uptake and reduces steatosis in the liver. By understanding the proteomic changes in hepatocytes with exercise, these findings have potential for the discovery of new therapeutic targets for NAFLD.

2021 impact factor: 7.422

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