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    How to achieve functional cure of HBV: Stopping NUCs, adding interferon or new drug development? Journal of hepatology Functional cure of hepatitis B is defined as sustained undetectable circulating HBsAg and HBV DNA after a finite course of treatment. Barriers to HBV cure include the reservoirs for HBV replication and antigen production (covalently closed circular DNA [cccDNA] and integrated HBV DNA), the high viral burden (HBV DNA and HBsAg) and the impaired host innate and adaptive immune responses against HBV. Current HBV therapeutics, 1 year of pegylated-interferon-α (PEG-IFNα) and long-term nucleos(t)ide analogues (NUCs), rarely achieve HBV cure. Stopping NUC therapy may lead to functional cure in some Caucasian patients but rarely in Asian patients. Switching from a NUC to IFN after HBV DNA suppression increases the chance of HBsAg clearance mainly in those with low HBsAg levels. Novel antiviral strategies that inhibit viral entry, translation and secretion of HBsAg, modulate capsid assembly, or target cccDNA transcription/degradation have shown promise in clinical trials. Novel immunomodulatory approaches including checkpoint inhibitors, metabolic modulation of T cells, therapeutic vaccines, adoptive transfer of genetically engineered T cells, and stimulation of innate and B-cell immune responses are being explored. These novel approaches may be further combined with NUCs or PEG-IFNα in personalised strategies, according to virologic and disease characteristics, to maximise the chance of HBV cure. The development of curative HBV therapies should be coupled with the development of standardised and validated virologic and immunologic assays to confirm target engagement and to assess response. In addition to efficacy, curative therapies must be safe and affordable to meet the goal of global elimination of hepatitis B. 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.11.024
    Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 5 in Natural Killer Cells Attenuates Liver Fibrosis by Exerting Cytotoxicity to Activated Stellate Cells. Choi Won-Mook,Ryu Tom,Lee Jun-Hee,Shim Young-Ri,Kim Myung-Ho,Kim Hee-Hoon,Kim Ye Eun,Yang Keungmo,Kim Kyurae,Choi Sung Eun,Kim Won,Kim Seok-Hwan,Eun Hyuk Soo,Jeong Won-Il Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.) BACKGROUND AND AIMS:The important roles of glutamate and metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) in HSCs have recently been reported in various liver diseases; however, the mechanism linking the glutamine/glutamate metabolism and mGluR5 in liver fibrosis remains unclear. Here, we report that mGluR5 activation in natural killer (NK) cells attenuates liver fibrosis through increased cytotoxicity and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) production in both mice and humans. APPROACH AND RESULTS:Following 2-week injection of carbon tetrachloride (CCl ) or 5-week methionine-deficient and choline-deficient diet, liver fibrosis was more aggravated in mGluR5 knockout mice with significantly decreased frequency of NK cells compared with wild-type mice. Consistently, NK cell-specific mGluR5 knockout mice had aggravated CCl -induced liver fibrosis with decreased production of IFN-γ. Conversely, in vitro activation of mGluR5 in NK cells significantly increased the expression of anti-fibrosis-related genes including Ifng, Prf1 (perforin), and Klrk1 (killer cell lectin like receptor K1) and the production of IFN-γ through the mitogen-activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase/extracellular signal-related kinase pathway, contributing to the increased cytotoxicity against activated HSCs. However, we found that the uptake of glutamate was increased in activated HSCs, resulting in shortage of extracellular glutamate and reduced stimulation of mGluR5 in NK cells. Consequently, this could enable HSCs to evade NK cell cytotoxicity in advanced liver fibrosis. In vivo, pharmacologic activation of mGluR5 accelerated CCl -induced liver fibrosis regression by restoring NK cell cytotoxicity. In humans, mGluR5 activation enhanced the cytotoxicity of NK cells isolated from healthy donors, but not from patients with cirrhosis with significantly reduced mGluR5 expression in NK cells. CONCLUSIONS:mGluR5 plays important roles in attenuating liver fibrosis by augmenting NK cell cytotoxicity, which could be used as a potential therapeutic target for liver fibrosis. 10.1002/hep.31875
    A switch in the source of ATP production and a loss in capacity to perform glycolysis are hallmarks of hepatocyte failure in advance liver disease. Nishikawa Taichiro,Bellance Nadège,Damm Aaron,Bing Han,Zhu Zhen,Handa Kan,Yovchev Mladen I,Sehgal Vasudha,Moss Tyler J,Oertel Michael,Ram Prahlad T,Pipinos Iraklis I,Soto-Gutierrez Alejandro,Fox Ira J,Nagrath Deepak Journal of hepatology BACKGROUND & AIMS:The cause of hepatic failure in the terminal stages of chronic injury is unknown. Cellular metabolic adaptations in response to the microenvironment have been implicated in cellular breakdown. METHODS:To address the role of energy metabolism in this process we studied mitochondrial number, respiration, and functional reserve, as well as cellular adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP) production, glycolytic flux, and expression of glycolysis related genes in isolated hepatocytes from early and terminal stages of cirrhosis using a model that produces hepatic failure from irreversible cirrhosis in rats. To study the clinical relevance of energy metabolism in terminal stages of chronic liver failure, we analyzed glycolysis and energy metabolism related gene expression in liver tissue from patients at different stages of chronic liver failure according to Child-Pugh classification. Additionally, to determine whether the expression of these genes in early-stage cirrhosis (Child-Pugh Class A) is related to patient outcome, we performed network analysis of publicly available microarray data obtained from biopsies of 216 patients with hepatitis C-related Child-Pugh A cirrhosis who were prospectively followed up for a median of 10years. RESULTS:In the early phase of cirrhosis, mitochondrial function and ATP generation are maintained by increasing energy production from glycolytic flux as production from oxidative phosphorylation falls. At the terminal stage of hepatic injury, mitochondria respiration and ATP production are significantly compromised, as the hepatocytes are unable to sustain the increased demand for high levels of ATP generation from glycolysis. This impairment corresponds to a decrease in glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit and phosphoglucomutase 1. Similar decreased gene expression was observed in liver tissue from patients at different stages of chronic liver injury. Further, unbiased network analysis of microarray data revealed that expression of these genes was down regulated in the group of patients with poor outcome. CONCLUSIONS:An adaptive metabolic shift, from generating energy predominantly from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis, allows maintenance of energy homeostasis during early stages of liver injury, but leads to hepatocyte dysfunction during terminal stages of chronic liver disease because hepatocytes are unable to sustain high levels of energy production from glycolysis. 10.1016/j.jhep.2014.02.014
    Targeting cell-intrinsic metabolism for antifibrotic therapy. Gilgenkrantz Helene,Mallat Ariane,Moreau Richard,Lotersztajn Sophie Journal of hepatology In recent years, there have been major advances in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying fibrosis progression and regression, and how coordinated interactions between parenchymal and non-parenchymal cells impact on the fibrogenic process. Recent studies have highlighted that metabolic reprogramming of parenchymal cells, immune cells (immunometabolism) and hepatic stellate cells is required to support the energetic and anabolic demands of phenotypic changes and effector functions. In this review, we summarise how targeting cell-intrinsic metabolic modifications of the main fibrogenic cell actors may impact on fibrosis progression and we discuss the antifibrogenic potential of metabolically targeted interventions. 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.02.012
    Relationship Between Metabolic Syndrome, Alanine Aminotransferase Levels, and Liver Disease Severity in a Multiethnic North American Cohort With Chronic Hepatitis B. Khalili Mandana,Shuhart Margaret C,Lombardero Manuel,Feld Jordan J,Kleiner David E,Chung Raymond T,Terrault Norah A,Lisker-Melman Mauricio,Sanyal Arun,Lok Anna S, , Diabetes care OBJECTIVE:Metabolic syndrome (MS) is prevalent and is associated with adverse outcomes of liver disease. We evaluated the prevalence of MS and its influence on alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels and fibrosis, as estimated by the aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI), in a large, multiethnic North American cohort with chronic hepatitis B (HBV) infection. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:Adults with chronic HBV from 21 centers within the U.S. and Canada were evaluated at baseline and for up to 5 years (median 3.7 years) of follow-up. MS was defined as the presence of at least three of five criteria including waist circumference, blood pressure, glucose, triglyceride, and HDL levels. RESULTS:Analysis included 777 participants, of whom 171 (22%) had MS. Participants with MS (vs. those without MS) were older (median age 54.4 vs. 40.2 years), more often male (61% vs. 51%), and born in the U.S./Canada or had immigrated >20 years ago (60% vs. 43%). MS was not associated with ALT or APRI at baseline. Upon adjusted multivariable analysis of serial ALT values, ALT was significantly higher (mean 12%; = 0.02) among those with MS at baseline and even higher (mean 19%; = 0.003) among those with persistent MS compared with those with persistent absence of MS. MS was not associated with serial APRI on follow-up. CONCLUSIONS:MS was prevalent in this HBV cohort and was independently associated with higher ALT levels longitudinally. These findings highlight the importance of screening for MS and the potential for MS to influence ALT and its interpretation in the context of HBV treatment decisions. 10.2337/dc18-0040
    Assessing the role of amino acids in systemic inflammation and organ failure in patients with ACLF. Zaccherini Giacomo,Aguilar Ferran,Caraceni Paolo,Clària Joan,Lozano Juan José,Fenaille François,Castelli Florence,Junot Christophe,Curto Anna,Formentin Chiara,Weiss Emmanuel,Bernardi Mauro,Jalan Rajiv,Angeli Paolo,Moreau Richard,Arroyo Vicente Journal of hepatology BACKGROUND & AIMS:Systemic inflammation and organ failure(s) are the hallmarks of acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF), yet their pathogenesis remains uncertain. Herein, we aimed to assess the role of amino acids in these processes in patients with ACLF. METHODS:The blood metabolomic database of the CANONIC study (comprising 137 metabolites, with 43% related to amino acids) - obtained in 181 patients with ACLF and 650 with acute decompensation without ACLF (AD) - was reanalyzed with a focus on amino acids, in particular 9 modules of co-regulated metabolites. We also compared blood metabolite levels between ACLF and AD. RESULTS:The main findings in ACLF were: i) Metabolite modules were increased in parallel with increased levels of markers of systemic inflammation and oxidative stress. ii) Seventy percent of proteinogenic amino acids were present and most were increased. iii) A metabolic network, comprising the amino acids aspartate, glutamate, the serine-glycine one-carbon metabolism (folate cycle), and methionine cycle, was activated, suggesting increased purine and pyrimidine nucleotide synthesis. iv) Cystathionine, L-cystine, glutamate and pyroglutamate, which are involved in the transsulfuration pathway (a methionine cycle branch) were increased, consistent with increased synthesis of the antioxidant glutathione. v) Intermediates of the catabolism of 5 out of the 6 ketogenic amino acids were increased. vi) The levels of spermidine (a polyamine inducer of autophagy with anti-inflammatory effects) were decreased. CONCLUSIONS:In ACLF, blood amino acids fueled protein and nucleotide synthesis required for the intense systemic inflammatory response. Ketogenic amino acids were extensively catabolized to produce energy substrates in peripheral organs, an effect that was insufficient because organs failed. Finally, the decrease in spermidine levels may cause a defect in autophagy contributing to the proinflammatory phenotype in ACLF. LAY SUMMARY:Systemic inflammation and organ failures are hallmarks of acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). Herein, we aimed to characterize the role of amino acids in these processes. The blood metabolome of patients with acutely decompensated cirrhosis, and particularly those with ACLF, reveals evidence of intense skeletal muscle catabolism. Importantly, amino acids (along with glucose), are used for intense anabolic, energy-consuming metabolism in patients with ACLF, presumably to support de novo nucleotide and protein synthesis in the activated innate immune system. 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.11.035
    Functional reconstitution of HBV-specific CD8 T cells by in vitro polyphenol treatment in chronic hepatitis B. Acerbi Greta,Montali Ilaria,Ferrigno Gennaro Domenico,Barili Valeria,Schivazappa Simona,Alfieri Arianna,Laccabue Diletta,Loglio Alessandro,Borghi Marta,Massari Marco,Rossi Marzia,Vecchi Andrea,Penna Amalia,Boni Carolina,Missale Gabriele,Lampertico Pietro,Del Rio Daniele,Ferrari Carlo,Fisicaro Paola Journal of hepatology BACKGROUND & AIMS:In chronic HBV infection, mitochondrial functions and proteostasis are dysregulated in exhausted HBV-specific CD8 T cells. To better characterise the potential involvement of deregulated protein degradation mechanisms in T cell exhaustion, we analysed lysosome-mediated autophagy in HBV-specific CD8 T cells. Bioactive compounds able to simultaneously target both mitochondrial functions and proteostasis were tested to identify optimal combination strategies to reconstitute efficient antiviral CD8 T cell responses in patients with chronic HBV infection. METHODS:Lysosome-mediated degradation pathways were analysed by flow cytometry in virus-specific CD8 T cells from patients with chronic HBV infection. Mitochondrial function, intracellular proteostasis, and cytokine production were evaluated in HBV-peptide-stimulated T cell cultures, in the presence or absence of the polyphenols resveratrol (RSV) and oleuropein (OLE) and their metabolites, either alone or in combination with other bioactive compounds. RESULTS:HBV-specific CD8 T cells from patients with CHB showed impaired autophagic flux. RSV and OLE elicited a significant improvement in mitochondrial, proteostasis and antiviral functions in CD8 T cells. Cytokine production was also enhanced by synthetic metabolites, which correspond to those generated by RSV and OLE metabolism in vivo, suggesting that these polyphenols may also display an effect after transformation in vivo. Moreover, polyphenolic compounds improved the T cell revitalising effect of mitochondria-targeted antioxidants and of programmed cell death protein 1/programmed cell death ligand 1 blockade. CONCLUSIONS:Simultaneously targeting multiple altered intracellular pathways with the combination of mitochondria-targeted antioxidants and natural polyphenols may represent a promising immune reconstitution strategy for the treatment of chronic HBV infection. LAY SUMMARY:In chronic hepatitis B, antiviral T lymphocytes are deeply impaired, with many altered intracellular functions. In vitro exposure to polyphenols, such as resveratrol and oleuropein, can correct some of the deregulated intracellular pathways and improve antiviral T cell function. This effect can be further strengthened by the association of polyphenols with antioxidant compounds in a significant proportion of patients. Thus, the combination of antioxidants and natural polyphenols represents a promising strategy for chronic hepatitis B therapy. 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.10.034
    The systemic inflammation hypothesis: Towards a new paradigm of acute decompensation and multiorgan failure in cirrhosis. Arroyo Vicente,Angeli Paolo,Moreau Richard,Jalan Rajiv,Clària Joan,Trebicka Jonel,Fernández Javier,Gustot Thierry,Caraceni Paolo,Bernardi Mauro, Journal of hepatology Acute decompensation (AD) of cirrhosis is defined by the development of ascites, hepatic encephalopathy and/or variceal bleeding. Ascites is traditionally attributed to splanchnic arterial vasodilation and left ventricular dysfunction, hepatic encephalopathy to hyperammonaemia, and variceal haemorrhage to portal hypertension. Recent large-scale European observational studies have shown that systemic inflammation is a hallmark of AD. Here we present a working hypothesis, the systemic inflammation hypothesis, suggesting that systemic inflammation through an impairment of the functions of one or more of the major organ systems may be a common theme and act synergistically with the traditional mechanisms involved in the development of AD. Systemic inflammation may impair organ system function through mechanisms which are not mutually exclusive. The first mechanism is a nitric oxide-mediated accentuation of the preexisting splanchnic vasodilation, resulting in the overactivation of the endogenous vasoconstrictor systems which elicit intense vasoconstriction and hypoperfusion in certain vascular beds, in particular the renal circulation. Second, systemic inflammation may cause immune-mediated tissue damage, a process called immunopathology. Finally, systemic inflammation may induce important metabolic changes. Indeed, systemic inflammatory responses are energetically expensive processes, requiring reallocation of nutrients (glucose, amino acids and lipids) to fuel immune activation. Systemic inflammation also inhibits nutrient consumption in peripheral (non-immune) organs, an effect that may provide one mechanism of reallocation and prioritisation of metabolic fuels for inflammatory responses. However, the decrease in nutrient consumption in peripheral organs may result in decreased mitochondrial production of ATP (energy) and subsequently impaired organ function. 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.11.048
    Metabolomics to discriminate between acute decompensation and acute-on-chronic liver failure in cirrhosis. McPhail Mark J W,Coen Muireann Journal of hepatology 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.03.021
    Pathophysiology of decompensated cirrhosis: Portal hypertension, circulatory dysfunction, inflammation, metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction. Engelmann Cornelius,Clària Joan,Szabo Gyongyi,Bosch Jaume,Bernardi Mauro Journal of hepatology Patients with acutely decompensated cirrhosis have a dismal prognosis and frequently progress to acute-on-chronic liver failure, which is characterised by hepatic and extrahepatic organ failure(s). The pathomechanisms involved in decompensation and disease progression are still not well understood, and as specific disease-modifying treatments do not exist, research to identify novel therapeutic targets is of the utmost importance. This review amalgamates the latest knowledge on disease mechanisms that lead to tissue injury and extrahepatic organ failure - such as systemic inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and metabolic changes - and marries these with the classical paradigms of acute decompensation to form a single paradigm. With this detailed breakdown of pathomechanisms, we identify areas for future research. Novel disease-modifying strategies that break the vicious cycle are urgently required to improve patient outcomes. 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.01.002
    NAFLD and diabetes mellitus. Tilg Herbert,Moschen Alexander R,Roden Michael Nature reviews. Gastroenterology & hepatology The liver constitutes a key organ in systemic metabolism, contributing substantially to the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The mechanisms underlying these processes are not entirely understood, but involve hepatic fat accumulation, alterations of energy metabolism and inflammatory signals derived from various cell types including immune cells. Lipotoxins, mitochondrial function, cytokines and adipocytokines have been proposed to play a major part in both NAFLD and T2DM. Patients with NAFLD are commonly insulin resistant. On the other hand, a large number of patients with T2DM develop NAFLD with its inflammatory complication, NASH. The high incidence of NASH in patients with T2DM leads to further complications, such as liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, which are increasingly recognized. Therapeutic concepts such as thiazolidinediones (glitazones) for treating T2DM also show some efficacy in the treatment of NASH. This Review will describe the multifaceted and complex interactions between the liver and T2DM. 10.1038/nrgastro.2016.147
    Dynamics of liver stiffness in chronic hepatitis B patients with concurrent metabolic-associated fatty liver disease. Con Danny,Clayton-Chubb Daniel,Lubel John,Sawhney Rohit,Bloom Stephen Journal of hepatology 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.02.013
    Diverse effects of hepatic steatosis on fibrosis progression and functional cure in virologically quiescent chronic hepatitis B. Mak Lung-Yi,Hui Rex Wan-Hin,Fung James,Liu Fen,Wong Danny Ka-Ho,Cheung Ka-Shing,Yuen Man-Fung,Seto Wai-Kay Journal of hepatology BACKGROUND & AIMS:Concomitant non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is common in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infection, although its impact on liver-related outcomes remains controversial. We aimed to study the effect of hepatic steatosis on the risk of fibrosis progression and the likelihood of HBsAg seroclearance. METHODS:Treatment-naïve patients with CHB, normal alanine aminotransferase and low viraemia (serum HBV DNA <2,000 IU/ml) were prospectively recruited for baseline and 3-year transient elastography assessment. Fibrosis staging was defined according to the EASL-ALEH guidelines, with fibrosis progression defined as ≥1 stage increment of fibrosis. Hepatic steatosis and severe hepatic steatosis were defined as controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) ≥248 dB/m and ≥280 dB/m, respectively. RESULTS:A total of 330 patients (median age 50.5 years, 41.2% male, median HBV DNA 189 IU/ml) were recruited. Twenty-two patients (6.7%) achieved HBsAg seroclearance during follow-up, and the presence of hepatic steatosis was associated with a significantly higher chance of HBsAg seroclearance (hazard ratio 3.246; 95% CI 1.278-8.243; p = 0.013). At baseline, 48.8% and 28.8% of patients had steatosis and severe steatosis, respectively, while 4.2% had F3/F4 fibrosis at baseline, increasing to 8.7% at 3 years. The rate of liver fibrosis progression in patients with persistent severe steatosis was higher than in those without steatosis (41.3% vs. 23%; p = 0.05). Persistent severe hepatic steatosis was independently associated with fibrosis progression (odds ratio 2.379; 95% CI 1.231-4.597; p = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS:CAP measurements have predictive value in patients with virologically quiescent CHB. The presence of hepatic steatosis was associated with a higher risk of fibrosis progression but, paradoxically, a 3-fold increase in HBsAg seroclearance rate. LAY SUMMARY:Co-existing fatty liver disease in patients with chronic viral hepatitis B infection leads to worsening liver fibrosis, but also increases the chance of cure from hepatitis B virus. Routine bedside assessment of liver fat content is important for risk assessment in treatment-naïve patients with chronic hepatitis B. 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.05.040
    Blood metabolomics uncovers inflammation-associated mitochondrial dysfunction as a potential mechanism underlying ACLF. Moreau Richard,Clària Joan,Aguilar Ferran,Fenaille François,Lozano Juan José,Junot Christophe,Colsch Benoit,Caraceni Paolo,Trebicka Jonel,Pavesi Marco,Alessandria Carlo,Nevens Frederik,Saliba Faouzi,Welzel Tania M,Albillos Agustin,Gustot Thierry,Fernández Javier,Moreno Christophe,Baldassarre Maurizio,Zaccherini Giacomo,Piano Salvatore,Montagnese Sara,Vargas Victor,Genescà Joan,Solà Elsa,Bernal William,Butin Noémie,Hautbergue Thaïs,Cholet Sophie,Castelli Florence,Jansen Christian,Steib Christian,Campion Daniela,Mookerjee Raj,Rodríguez-Gandía Miguel,Soriano German,Durand François,Benten Daniel,Bañares Rafael,Stauber Rudolf E,Gronbaek Henning,Coenraad Minneke J,Ginès Pere,Gerbes Alexander,Jalan Rajiv,Bernardi Mauro,Arroyo Vicente,Angeli Paolo, , , Journal of hepatology BACKGROUND & AIMS:Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF), which develops in patients with cirrhosis, is characterized by intense systemic inflammation and organ failure(s). Because systemic inflammation is energetically expensive, its metabolic costs may result in organ dysfunction/failure. Therefore, we aimed to analyze the blood metabolome in patients with cirrhosis, with and without ACLF. METHODS:We performed untargeted metabolomics using liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry in serum from 650 patients with AD (acute decompensation of cirrhosis, without ACLF), 181 with ACLF, 43 with compensated cirrhosis, and 29 healthy individuals. RESULTS:Of the 137 annotated metabolites identified, 100 were increased in patients with ACLF of any grade, relative to those with AD, and 38 comprised a distinctive blood metabolite fingerprint for ACLF. Among patients with ACLF, the intensity of the fingerprint increased across ACLF grades, and was similar in patients with kidney failure and in those without, indicating that the fingerprint reflected not only decreased kidney excretion but also altered cell metabolism. The higher the ACLF-associated fingerprint intensity, the higher the plasma levels of inflammatory markers, tumor necrosis factor α, soluble CD206, and soluble CD163. ACLF was characterized by intense proteolysis and lipolysis; amino acid catabolism; extra-mitochondrial glucose metabolism through glycolysis, pentose phosphate, and D-glucuronate pathways; depressed mitochondrial ATP-producing fatty acid β-oxidation; and extra-mitochondrial amino acid metabolism giving rise to metabotoxins. CONCLUSIONS:In ACLF, intense systemic inflammation is associated with blood metabolite accumulation and profound alterations in major metabolic pathways, in particular inhibition of mitochondrial energy production, which may contribute to the development of organ failures. LAY SUMMARY:Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF), which develops in patients with cirrhosis, is characterized by intense systemic inflammation and organ failure(s). Because systemic inflammation is energetically expensive, its metabolic costs may result in organ dysfunction/failure. We identified a 38-metabolite blood fingerprint specific for ACLF that revealed mitochondrial dysfunction in peripheral organs. This may contribute to organ failures. 10.1016/j.jhep.2019.11.009
    Metabolic fingerprint of progression of chronic hepatitis B: changes in the metabolome and novel diagnostic possibilities. Nguyen Hien Thi Thu,Wimmer Reinhard,Le Vang Quy,Krarup Henrik Bygum Metabolomics : Official journal of the Metabolomic Society INTRODUCTION:Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) affects 257 million individuals worldwide with an annual estimated mortality rate of 880,000 individuals. Accurate diagnosis of the stage of disease is difficult, and there is considerable uncertainty concerning the optimal point in time, when treatment should be started. OBJECTIVES:By analyzing and comparing the metabolomes of patients at different stages of CHB and comparing them to healthy individuals, we want to determine the metabolic signature of disease progression and develop a more accurate metabolome-based method for diagnosis of disease progression ultimately giving a better basis for treatment decisions. METHODS:In this study, we used the combination of transient elastography and serum metabolomics of 307 serum samples from a group of 90 patients with CHB before and under treatment (with a follow-up time up to 10 years) at different progression stages over the clinical phases and 43 healthy controls.. RESULTS:Our data show that the metabolomics approach can successfully discover CHB changing from the immune tolerance to the immune clearance phase and show distinctive metabolomes from different medical treatment stages. Perturbations in ammonia detoxification, glutamine and glutamate metabolism, methionine metabolism, dysregulation of branched-chain amino acids, and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle are the main factors involved in the progression of the disease. Fluctuations increasing in aspartate, glutamate, glutamine, methionine and 13 other metabolites are fingerprints of progression. CONCLUSIONS:The metabolomics approach may expand the diagnostic armamentarium for patients with CHB. This method can provide a more detailed decision basis for starting medical treatment. 10.1007/s11306-020-01767-y
    Association of central obesity with hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic hepatitis B receiving antiviral therapy. Fan Rong,Niu Junqi,Ma Hong,Xie Qing,Cheng Jun,Rao Huiying,Dou Xiaoguang,Xie Jianping,Zhao Wei,Peng Jie,Gao Zhiliang,Gao Hongbo,Chen Xinyue,Chen Jinjun,Li Qiang,Tang Hong,Zhang Zhengang,Ren Hong,Cheng Mingliang,Liang Xieer,Zhu Chaonan,Wei Lai,Jia Jidong,Sun Jian,Hou Jinlin, Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics BACKGROUND:Obesity is typically associated with metabolic dysfunction, but its impact on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unclear in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB). AIM:To study the effect of obesity on HCC development in patients with CHB receiving antiviral therapy. METHODS:We included patients from a Chinese multicentre, prospective, observational, treated CHB cohort in this study. General obesity was evaluated by body-mass index (BMI). Central obesity was evaluated by waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio and waist-to-height ratio. RESULTS:A total of 5754 nucleos(t)ide analogue treated patients were enrolled in the analysis. The 5-year cumulative incidence of HCC was 2.9%. Waist-to-height ratio performed better in predicting HCC development than BMI, waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio. Patients with central obesity (defined as waist-to-height ratio >0.5) had significantly higher 5-year incidence of HCC than those without central obesity in the overall population (3.9% vs 2.1%, hazard ratio [HR]: 2.06, P = 0.0001) and 745 propensity score matched pairs (4.7% vs 2.3%, HR: 2.04, P = 0.026), respectively. Besides cirrhosis status and aMAP HCC risk score, central obesity was also independently associated with HCC risk (HR: 1.63, P = 0.013). Waist-to-height ratio gain within 1 year was associated with a significantly higher HCC risk with an adjusted HR value of 1.88 (95% confidence interval: 1.12-3.13, P = 0.017). CONCLUSIONS:Central obesity, evaluated by the waist-to-height ratio, was associated with a twofold increase in HCC risk among CHB patients receiving antiviral treatment, highlighting the important role of abnormal metabolic function in the progression of liver disease. 10.1111/apt.16469
    Clinical Implications of HBV PreS/S Mutations and the Effects of PreS2 Deletion on Mitochondria, Liver Fibrosis, and Cancer Development. Liang Yuh-Jin,Teng Wei,Chen Chih-Li,Sun Cheng-Pu,Teng Rui-Dung,Huang Yen-Hua,Liang Kung-Hao,Chen Yi-Wen,Lin Chung-Chih,Su Chien-Wei,Tao Mi-Hua,Wu Jaw-Ching Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.) BACKGROUND AND AIMS:PreS mutants of HBV have been reported to be associated with HCC. We conducted a longitudinal study of the role of HBV preS mutations in the development of HCC, particularly in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) having low HBV DNA or alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, and investigated the effects of secretion-defective preS2 deletion mutant (preS2ΔMT) on hepatocyte damage in vitro and liver fibrosis in vivo. APPROACH AND RESULTS:Association of preS mutations with HCC in 343 patients with CHB was evaluated by a retrospective case-control follow-up study. Effects of preS2ΔMT on HBsAg retention, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, calcium accumulation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and liver fibrosis were examined. Multivariate analysis revealed a significant association of preS mutations with HCC (HR, 3.210; 95% CI, 1.072-9.613; P = 0.037) including cases with low HBV DNA or ALT levels (HR, 2.790; 95% CI, 1.133-6.873; P = 0.026). Antiviral therapy reduced HCC risk, including cases with preS mutations. PreS2ΔMT expression promoted HBsAg retention in the ER and unfolded protein response (UPR). Transmission electron microscopic examination, MitoTracker staining, real-time ATP assay, and calcium staining of preS2ΔMT-expressing cells revealed aberrant ER and mitochondrial ultrastructure, reduction of mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP production, and calcium overload. Serum HBV secretion levels were ~100-fold lower in preS2ΔMT-infected humanized Fah-/-/ Rag2-/-/Il2rg-/- triple knockout mice than in wild-type HBV-infected mice. PreS2ΔMT-infected mice displayed up-regulation of UPR and caspase-3 and enhanced liver fibrosis. CONCLUSIONS:PreS mutations were significantly associated with HCC development in patients with CHB, including those with low HBV DNA or ALT levels. Antiviral therapy reduced HCC occurrence in patients with CHB, including those with preS mutations. Intracellular accumulation of mutated HBsAg induced or promoted ER stress, calcium overload, mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired energy metabolism, liver fibrosis, and HCC. 10.1002/hep.31789