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Abstract

Steatosis increases operative morbidity/mortality from ischemia–reperfusion injury (IRI); few pharmacological approaches have been protective. Using novel genetic/dietary models of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and simple steatosis (SS) in Alms1 mutant (foz/foz) mice, we characterized severity of IRI in NASH versus SS and lean liver and tested our hypothesis that the lipid-lowering effects of the peroxisome proliferation-activator receptor (PPAR)-α agonist Wy-14,643 would be hepatoprotective. Mice were subjected to 60-minute partial hepatic IRI. Microvascular changes were assessed at 15-minute reperfusion by in vivo microscopy, injury at 24 hours by serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and hepatic necrosis area. Injury and inflammation mediators were determined by way of immunoblotting for intercellular cellular adhesion molecule, vascular cellular adhesion molecule, p38, c-jun N-terminal kinase, IκB-α, interleukin (IL)-1a, IL-12, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and IL-6, cell cycle by cyclin D1 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen immunohistochemistry. In foz/foz mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) to cause NASH or chow (SS), IRI was exacerbated compared with HFD-fed or chow-fed wild-type littermates by ALT release; corresponding necrotic areas were 60 ± 22% NASH, 29 ± 9% SS versus 7 ± 1% lean. Microvasculature of NASH or SS livers was narrowed by enormous lipid-filled hepatocytes, significantly reducing numbers of perfused sinusoids, all exacerbated by IRI. Wy-14,643 reduced steatosis in NASH and SS livers, whereas PPAR-α stimulation conferred substantial hepatoprotection against IRI by ALT release, with reductions in vascular cellular adhesion molecule-1, IL-1a, TNF-α, IL-12, activated nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), p38, IL-6 production and cell cycle entry. Conclusion: NASH and SS livers are both more susceptible to IRI. Mechanisms include possible distortion of the microvasculature by swollen fat-laden hepatocytes, and enhanced production of several cytokines. The beneficial effects of Wy-14,643 may be exerted by dampening adhesion molecule and cytokine responses, and activating NF-κB, IL-6 production, and p38 kinase to effect cell cycle entry. (HEPATOLOGY 2009.)