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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Oxidized linoleic acid metabolites induce liver mitochondrial dysfunction, apoptosis, and NLRP3 activation in mice.

  • Author(s): Schuster, Susanne
  • Johnson, Casey D
  • Hennebelle, Marie
  • Holtmann, Theresa
  • Taha, Ameer Y
  • Kirpich, Irina A
  • Eguchi, Akiko
  • Ramsden, Christopher E
  • Papouchado, Bettina G
  • McClain, Craig J
  • Feldstein, Ariel E
  • et al.

Circulating oxidized linoleic acid (LA) metabolites (OXLAMs) are increased in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and their levels correlate with disease severity. However, the mechanisms by which OXLAMs contribute to NASH development are incompletely understood. We tested the hypothesis that LA or OXLAMs provided directly through the diet are involved in the development of hepatic injury. C57BL/6 mice were fed an isocaloric high-fat diet containing low LA, high LA, or OXLAMs for 8 weeks. The livers of OXLAM-fed mice showed lower triglyceride concentrations, but higher FA oxidation and lipid peroxidation in association with increased oxidative stress. OXLAM-induced mitochondrial dysfunction was associated with reduced Complex I protein and hepatic ATP levels, as well as increased mitochondrial biogenesis and cytoplasmic mitochondrial DNA. Oxidative stress increased thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) in the liver and stimulated the activation of mitochondrial apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) leading to apoptosis. We also found increased levels of NOD-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome components and Caspase-1 activation in the livers of OXLAM-fed mice. In vitro, OXLAMs induced hepatocyte cell death, which was partly dependent on Caspase-1 activation. This study identified key mechanisms by which dietary OXLAMs contribute to NASH development, including mitochondrial dysfunction, hepatocyte cell death, and NLRP3 inflammasome activation.

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