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    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
    The metabolomic window into hepatobiliary disease. Beyoğlu Diren,Idle Jeffrey R Journal of hepatology The emergent discipline of metabolomics has attracted considerable research effort in hepatology. Here we review the metabolomic data for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), alcoholic liver disease (ALD), hepatitis B and C, cholecystitis, cholestasis, liver transplantation, and acute hepatotoxicity in animal models. A metabolomic window has permitted a view into the changing biochemistry occurring in the transitional phases between a healthy liver and hepatocellular carcinoma or cholangiocarcinoma. Whether provoked by obesity and diabetes, alcohol use or oncogenic viruses, the liver develops a core metabolomic phenotype (CMP) that involves dysregulation of bile acid and phospholipid homeostasis. The CMP commences at the transition between the healthy liver (Phase 0) and NAFLD/NASH, ALD or viral hepatitis (Phase 1). This CMP is maintained in the presence or absence of cirrhosis (Phase 2) and whether or not either HCC or CCA (Phase 3) develops. Inflammatory signalling in the liver triggers the appearance of the CMP. Many other metabolomic markers distinguish between Phases 0, 1, 2 and 3. A metabolic remodelling in HCC has been described but metabolomic data from all four Phases demonstrate that the Warburg shift from mitochondrial respiration to cytosolic glycolysis foreshadows HCC and may occur as early as Phase 1. The metabolic remodelling also involves an upregulation of fatty acid β-oxidation, also beginning in Phase 1. The storage of triglycerides in fatty liver provides high energy-yielding substrates for Phases 2 and 3 of liver pathology. The metabolomic window into hepatobiliary disease sheds new light on the systems pathology of the liver. 10.1016/j.jhep.2013.05.030
    PBMC transcriptomics identifies immune-metabolism disorder during the development of HBV-ACLF. Li Jiang,Liang Xi,Jiang Jing,Yang Lingling,Xin Jiaojiao,Shi Dongyan,Lu Yingyan,Li Jun,Ren Keke,Hassan Hozeifa Mohamed,Zhang Jianing,Chen Pengcheng,Yao Heng,Li Jiaqi,Wu Tianzhou,Jin Linfeng,Ye Ping,Li Tan,Zhang Huafen,Sun Suwan,Guo Beibei,Zhou Xingping,Cai Qun,Chen Jiaxian,Xu Xiaowei,Huang Jianrong,Hao Shaorui,He Jinqiu,Xin Shaojie,Wang Di,Trebicka Jonel,Chen Xin,Li Jun, Gut OBJECTIVE:Hepatitis B virus-related acute-on-chronic liver failure (HBV-ACLF) pathophysiology remains unclear. This study aims to characterise the molecular basis of HBV-ACLF using transcriptomics. METHODS:Four hundred subjects with HBV-ACLF, acute-on-chronic hepatic dysfunction (ACHD), liver cirrhosis (LC) or chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and normal controls (NC) from a prospective multicentre cohort were studied, and 65 subjects (ACLF, 20; ACHD, 10; LC, 10; CHB, 10; NC, 15) among them underwent mRNA sequencing using peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). RESULTS:The functional synergy analysis focusing on seven bioprocesses related to the PBMC response and the top 500 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) showed that viral processes were associated with all disease stages. Immune dysregulation, as the most prominent change and disorder triggered by HBV exacerbation, drove CHB or LC to ACHD and ACLF. Metabolic disruption was significant in ACHD and severe in ACLF. The analysis of 62 overlapping DEGs further linked the HBV-based immune-metabolism disorder to ACLF progression. The signatures of interferon-related, neutrophil-related and monocyte-related pathways related to the innate immune response were significantly upregulated. Signatures linked to the adaptive immune response were downregulated. Disruptions of lipid and fatty acid metabolism were observed during ACLF development. External validation of four DEGs underlying the aforementioned molecular mechanism in patients and experimental rats confirmed their specificity and potential as biomarkers for HBV-ACLF pathogenesis. CONCLUSIONS:This study highlights immune-metabolism disorder triggered by HBV exacerbation as a potential mechanism of HBV-ACLF and may indicate a novel diagnostic and treatment target to reduce HBV-ACLF-related mortality. 10.1136/gutjnl-2020-323395
    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
    Hedgehog-YAP Signaling Pathway Regulates Glutaminolysis to Control Activation of Hepatic Stellate Cells. Du Kuo,Hyun Jeongeun,Premont Richard T,Choi Steve S,Michelotti Gregory A,Swiderska-Syn Marzena,Dalton George D,Thelen Eric,Rizi Bahar Salimian,Jung Youngmi,Diehl Anna Mae Gastroenterology BACKGROUND & AIMS:Cirrhosis results from accumulation of myofibroblasts derived from quiescent hepatic stellate cells (Q-HSCs); it regresses when myofibroblastic HSCs are depleted. Hedgehog signaling promotes transdifferentiation of HSCs by activating Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1 or YAP) and inducing aerobic glycolysis. However, increased aerobic glycolysis alone cannot meet the high metabolic demands of myofibroblastic HSCs. Determining the metabolic processes of these cells could lead to strategies to prevent progressive liver fibrosis, so we investigated whether glutaminolysis (conversion of glutamine to alpha-ketoglutarate) sustains energy metabolism and permits anabolism when Q-HSCs become myofibroblastic, and whether this is controlled by hedgehog signaling to YAP. METHODS:Primary HSCs were isolated from C57BL/6 or Smo mice; we also performed studies with rat and human myofibroblastic HSCs. We measured changes of glutaminolytic genes during culture-induced primary HSC transdifferentiation. Glutaminolysis was disrupted in cells by glutamine deprivation or pathway inhibitors (bis-2-[5-phenylacetamido-1,2,4-thiadiazol-2-yl] ethyl sulfide, CB-839, epigallocatechin gallate, and aminooxyacetic acid), and effects on mitochondrial respiration, cell growth and migration, and fibrogenesis were measured. Hedgehog signaling to YAP was disrupted in cells by adenovirus expression of Cre-recombinase or by small hairpin RNA knockdown of YAP. Hedgehog and YAP activity were inhibited by incubation of cells with cyclopamine or verteporfin, and effects on glutaminolysis were measured. Acute and chronic liver fibrosis were induced in mice by intraperitoneal injection of CCl or methionine choline-deficient diet. Some mice were then given injections of bis-2-[5-phenylacetamido-1,2,4-thiadiazol-2-yl] ethyl sulfide to inhibit glutaminolysis, and myofibroblast accumulation was measured. We also performed messenger RNA and immunohistochemical analyses of percutaneous liver biopsies from healthy human and 4 patients with no fibrosis, 6 patients with mild fibrosis, and 3 patients with severe fibrosis. RESULTS:Expression of genes that regulate glutaminolysis increased during transdifferentiation of primary Q-HSCs into myofibroblastic HSCs, and inhibition of glutaminolysis disrupted transdifferentiation. Blocking glutaminolysis in myofibroblastic HSCs suppressed mitochondrial respiration, cell growth and migration, and fibrogenesis; replenishing glutaminolysis metabolites to these cells restored these activities. Knockout of the hedgehog signaling intermediate smoothened or knockdown of YAP inhibited expression of glutaminase, the rate-limiting enzyme in glutaminolysis. Hedgehog and YAP inhibitors blocked glutaminolysis and suppressed myofibroblastic activities in HSCs. In livers of patients and of mice with acute or chronic fibrosis, glutaminolysis was induced in myofibroblastic HSCs. In mice with liver fibrosis, inhibition of glutaminase blocked accumulation of myofibroblasts and fibrosis progression. CONCLUSIONS:Glutaminolysis controls accumulation of myofibroblast HSCs in mice and might be a therapeutic target for cirrhosis. 10.1053/j.gastro.2017.12.022