The role of the nuclear receptor constitutive androstane receptor in the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis

Yamazaki, Yuichi; Kakizaki, Satoru; Horiguchi, Norio; Sohara, Naondo; Sato, Ken; Takagi, Hitoshi; Mori, Masatomo; Negishi, Masahiko
April 2007
Gut;Apr2007, Vol. 56 Issue 4, p565
Academic Journal
Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a common liver injury, but the pathophysiological mechanisms leading to the development of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) remain unclear. The pathological roles of the nuclear receptor constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), a key regulator of drug-metabolising enzymes, in the development of NASH were investigated. Methods and results: CAR+/+ and CAR-/- mice were given a methionine and choline-deficient (MCD) diet to establish a dietary model of NASH. Increases in serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and in infiltration of inflammatory cells were dominant in CAR+/+ mice at 8 weeks. There was no significant difference in the lipid concentration of the liver-namely, the first hit between CAR+/+ and CAR-/- mice. The index of lipid peroxidation increased in liver of the CAR+/+ mice, as demonstrated by 8-iso-prostaglandin F2α (F2-isoprostanes). Western blotting analysis showed that nuclear translocation of CAR occurred in CAR+/+ mice fed the MCD diet. As a result, the CAR activation caused the lipid peroxidation-namely, the second hit. The expressions of cytochrome P450 (CYP)2B10, 2C29, 3A11 all increased considerably in the CAR+/+ mice. Furthermore, α smooth muscle actin immunohistochemistry and Sirius red staining showed an increase in the degree of fibrosis in CAR+/+ mice fed the MCD diet at 16 weeks. The mRNA expressions of collagen α1(1) and the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 were found to be elevated in CAR+/+ mice. Conclusion: CAR caused the worsening of the hepatic injury and fibrosis in the dietary model of NASH. Our results suggest that the CAR nuclear receptor may thus play a critical role in the pathogenesis of NASH.


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