Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) belongs to a family of nuclear receptors that could serve as lipid sensors. PPARγ is the target of a group of insulin sensitizers called thiazolidinediones (TZDs) which regulate the expression of genes involved in glucose and lipid metabolism as well as adipokines that regulate metabolic function in other tissues. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has a high prevalence worldwide and is even higher in patients with obesity and insulin resistance. TZD-mediated activation of PPARγ could serve as a good treatment for NAFLD because TZDs have shown anti-fibrogenic and anti-inflammatory effectsin vitro and increase insulin sensitivity in peripheral tissues which improves liver pathology. However, mechanistic studies in mouse models suggest that the activation of PPARγ in hepatocytes might reduce or limit the therapeutic potential of TZD against NAFLD. In this review, we briefly describe the short history of PPAR isoforms, the relevance of their expression in different tissues, as well as the pathogenesis and potential therapeutics for NAFLD. We also discuss some evidence derived from mouse models that could be useful for endocrinologists to assess tissue-specific roles of PPARs, complement reverse endocrinology approaches, and understand the direct role that PPARγ has in hepatocytes and non-parenchymal cells.
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Samuel M Lee, Jose Muratalla, Marta Sierra-Cruz, and Jose Cordoba-Chacon
Abigail Wolf Greenstein, Neena Majumdar, Peng Yang, Papasani V Subbaiah, Rhonda D Kineman, and Jose Cordoba-Chacon
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is the target for thiazolidinones (TZDs), drugs that improve insulin sensitivity and fatty liver in humans and rodent models, related to a reduction in hepatic de novo lipogenesis (DNL). The systemic effects of TZDs are in contrast to reports suggesting hepatocyte-specific activation of PPARγ promotes DNL, triacylglycerol (TAG) uptake and fatty acid (FA) esterification. As these hepatocyte-specific effects of PPARγ could counterbalance the positive therapeutic actions of systemic delivery of TZDs, the current study used a mouse model of adult-onset, liver (hepatocyte)-specific PPARγ knockdown (aLivPPARγkd). This model has advantages over existing congenital knockout models, by avoiding compensatory changes related to embryonic knockdown, thus better modeling the impact of altering PPARγ on adult physiology, where metabolic diseases most frequently develop. The impact of aLivPPARγkd on hepatic gene expression and endpoints in lipid metabolism was examined after 1 or 18 weeks (Chow-fed) or after 14 weeks of low- or high-fat (HF) diet. aLivPPARγkd reduced hepatic TAG content but did not impact endpoints in DNL or TAG uptake. However, aLivPPARγkd reduced the expression of the FA translocase (Cd36), in 18-week Chow- and HF-fed mice, associated with increased NEFA after HF feeding. Also, aLivPPARγkd dramatically reduced Mogat1 expression, that was reflected by an increase in hepatic monoacylglycerol (MAG) levels, indicative of reduced MOGAT activity. These results, coupled with previous reports, suggest that Cd36-mediated FA uptake and MAG pathway-mediated FA esterification are major targets of hepatocyte PPARγ, where loss of this control explains in part the protection against steatosis observed after aLivPPARγkd.
Ellen R Lubbers, Edward O List, Adam Jara, Lucila Sackman-Sala, Jose Cordoba-Chacon, Manuel D Gahete, Rhonda D Kineman, Ravneet Boparai, Andrzej Bartke, John J Kopchick, and Darlene E Berryman
Adiponectin is positively correlated with longevity and negatively correlated with many obesity-related diseases. While there are several circulating forms of adiponectin, the high-molecular-weight (HMW) version has been suggested to have the predominant bioactivity. Adiponectin gene expression and cognate serum protein levels are of particular interest in mice with altered GH signaling as these mice exhibit extremes in obesity that are positively associated with insulin sensitivity and lifespan as opposed to the typical negative association of these factors. While a few studies have reported total adiponectin levels in young adult mice with altered GH signaling, much remains unresolved, including changes in adiponectin levels with advancing age, proportion of total adiponectin in the HMW form, adipose depot of origin, and differential effects of GH vs IGF1. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to address these issues using assorted mouse lines with altered GH signaling. Our results show that adiponectin is generally negatively associated with GH activity, regardless of age. Further, the amount of HMW adiponectin is consistently linked with the level of total adiponectin and not necessarily with previously reported lifespan or insulin sensitivity of these mice. Interestingly, circulating adiponectin levels correlated strongly with inguinal fat mass, implying that the effects of GH on adiponectin are depot specific. Interestingly, rbGH, but not IGF1, decreased circulating total and HMW adiponectin levels. Taken together, these results fill important gaps in the literature related to GH and adiponectin and question the frequently reported associations of total and HMW adiponectin with insulin sensitivity and longevity.
Andre Sarmento-Cabral, Mercedes del Rio-Moreno, Mari C Vazquez-Borrego, Mariyah Mahmood, Elena Gutierrez-Casado, Natalie Pelke, Grace Guzman, Papasani V Subbaiah, Jose Cordoba-Chacon, Shoshana Yakar, and Rhonda D Kineman
A reduction in hepatocyte growth hormone (GH)-signaling promotes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, debate remains as to the relative contribution of the direct effects of GH on hepatocyte function vs indirect effects, via alterations in insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1). To isolate the role of hepatocyte GH receptor (GHR) signaling, independent of changes in IGF1, mice with adult-onset, hepatocyte-specific GHR knockdown (aHepGHRkd) were treated with a vector expressing rat IGF1 targeted specifically to hepatocytes. Compared to GHR-intact mice, aHepGHRkd reduced circulating IGF1 and elevated GH. In male aHepGHRkd, the shift in IGF1/GH did not alter plasma glucose or non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), but was associated with increased insulin, enhanced systemic lipid oxidation and reduced white adipose tissue (WAT) mass. Livers of male aHepGHRkd exhibited steatosis associated with increased de novo lipogenesis, hepatocyte ballooning and inflammation. In female aHepGHRkd, hepatic GHR protein levels were not detectable, but moderate levels of IGF1 were maintained, with minimal alterations in systemic metabolism and no evidence of steatosis. Reconstitution of hepatocyte IGF1 in male aHepGHRkd lowered GH and normalized insulin, whole body lipid utilization and WAT mass. However, IGF1 reconstitution did not reduce steatosis or eliminate liver injury. RNAseq analysis showed IGF1 reconstitution did not impact aHepGHRkd-induced changes in liver gene expression, despite changes in systemic metabolism. These results demonstrate the impact of aHepGHRkd is sexually dimorphic and the steatosis and liver injury observed in male aHepGHRkd mice is autonomous of IGF1, suggesting GH acts directly on the adult hepatocyte to control NAFLD progression.