Topic Editors

Prof. Dr. Neuman Manuela
In Vitro Drug Safety and Biotechnology, Département of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M2R 1W6, Canada
Prof. Dr. Stephen Malnick
Internal Medicine C, Kaplan Medical Center, Rehovot, Israel

Clinical, Translational and Basic Research on Liver Diseases

Abstract submission deadline
closed (30 June 2022)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (31 August 2022)
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Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Personalized medicine is one of the new approaches to liver disease management. Liver research over the last decade has shown that response to therapy is variable, hence personalization and identifying factors that will enhance the predictive utility of targeted therapy are critical. There are assays such as the lymphocyte toxicity assay which can identify the hypersensitivity of each individual to a drug of use or misuse. The knowledge of the drug adverse events can save lives and can reduce health care costs dramatically. Biomarkers can help identify diseases of the liver. Cancer immunotherapy, which aims to control the immune system to eradicate cancer, needs to be personalized, because anticancer immune responses can be inhibited in various ways from patient to patient. Cancer immunotherapy includes immune checkpoint inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies, as well as cell therapy, immunogene therapy, and vaccines. Combinations of programmed apoptosis protein 1 (PD-1)/ligand 1 (PD-L1) chemotherapy and radiation therapy, are being explored. Biomarkers are important for predicting the response to immunotherapy in hepatocellular and cholangio- carcinomas. Molecular diagnostics and immunohistochemistry are important technologies for guiding treatment in diseases of the liver.

The scope of the present Topic is to present the need for

• The identification of molecular targets as predictive biomarkers is important for matched targeted therapy in alcoholic and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.

• Constant evaluation of assays to predict and diagnose drug-induced liver injury (DILI).

• Integration of viral-induced liver diseases as a possible co-morbidity in alcohol and drugs of misuse liver disease laboratory diagnosis.

• Validation of biomarkers to predict response to combination therapies, including those that characterize the tumor microenvironment and targeted signaling pathways in carcinoma of the liver.

Prof. Dr. Neuman Manuela
Prof. Dr. Stephen Malnick
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • apoptosome
  • inflammasome
  • personalized medicine
  • pharmacovigilance
  • alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver
  • drug interactions and the liver
  • molecular triggers for viral disease

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Biomedicines
biomedicines
4.757 3.0 2013 16.8 Days 2200 CHF
Current Issues in Molecular Biology
cimb
2.976 2.7 1999 16.5 Days 1800 CHF
Diagnostics
diagnostics
3.992 2.4 2011 17.5 Days 1800 CHF
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ijms
6.208 6.9 2000 15.9 Days 2300 CHF
Reports
reports
- - 2018 19.5 Days 1400 CHF

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Published Papers (48 papers)

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Review
Role of Intestinal Microbes in Chronic Liver Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(20), 12661; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232012661 - 21 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1089
Abstract
With the recent availability and upgrading of many emerging intestinal microbes sequencing technologies, our research on intestinal microbes is changing rapidly. A variety of investigations have found that intestinal microbes are essential for immune system regulation and energy metabolism homeostasis, which impacts many [...] Read more.
With the recent availability and upgrading of many emerging intestinal microbes sequencing technologies, our research on intestinal microbes is changing rapidly. A variety of investigations have found that intestinal microbes are essential for immune system regulation and energy metabolism homeostasis, which impacts many critical organs. The liver is the first organ to be traversed by the intestinal portal vein, and there is a strong bidirectional link between the liver and intestine. Many intestinal factors, such as intestinal microbes, bacterial composition, and intestinal bacterial metabolites, are deeply involved in liver homeostasis. Intestinal microbial dysbiosis and increased intestinal permeability are associated with the pathogenesis of many chronic liver diseases, such as alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), chronic hepatitis B (CHB), chronic hepatitis C (CHC), autoimmune liver disease (AIH) and the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Intestinal permeability and dysbacteriosis often lead to Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and metabolites entering in serum. Then, Toll-like receptors activation in the liver induces the exposure of the intestine and liver to many small molecules with pro-inflammatory properties. And all of these eventually result in various liver diseases. In this paper, we have discussed the current evidence on the role of various intestinal microbes in different chronic liver diseases. As well as potential new therapeutic approaches are proposed in this review, such as antibiotics, probiotics, and prebiotics, which may have an improvement in liver diseases. Full article
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Article
Influence of Antibiotics on Functionality and Viability of Liver Cells In Vitro
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(10), 4639-4657; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44100317 - 03 Oct 2022
Viewed by 532
Abstract
(1) Antibiotics are an important weapon in the fight against serious bacterial infections and are considered a common cause of drug-induced liver injury (DILI). The hepatotoxicity of many drugs, including antibiotics, is poorly analyzed in human in vitro models. (2) A standardized assay [...] Read more.
(1) Antibiotics are an important weapon in the fight against serious bacterial infections and are considered a common cause of drug-induced liver injury (DILI). The hepatotoxicity of many drugs, including antibiotics, is poorly analyzed in human in vitro models. (2) A standardized assay with a human hepatoma cell line was used to test the hepatotoxicity of various concentrations (Cmax, 5× Cmax, and 10× Cmax) of antibiotics. In an ICU, the most frequently prescribed antibiotics, ampicillin, cefepime, cefuroxime, levofloxacin, linezolid, meropenem, rifampicin, tigecycline, and vancomycin, were incubated with HepG2/C3A cells for 6 days. Cell viability (XTT assay, LDH release, and vitality), albumin synthesis, and cytochrome 1A2 activity were determined in cells. (3) In vitro, vancomycin, rifampicin, and tigecycline showed moderate hepatotoxic potential. The antibiotics ampicillin, cefepime, cefuroxime, levofloxacin, linezolid, and meropenem were associated with mild hepatotoxic reactions in test cells incubated with the testes Cmax concentration. Rifampicin and cefuroxime showed significantly negative effects on the viability of test cells. (4) Further in vitro studies and global pharmacovigilance reports should be conducted to reveal underlying mechanism of the hepatotoxic action of vancomycin, rifampicin, tigecycline, and cefuroxime, as well as the clinical relevance of these findings. Full article
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Article
The Transgene Expression of the Immature Form of the HCV Core Protein (C191) and the LncRNA MEG3 Increases Apoptosis in HepG2 Cells
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(8), 3632-3647; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44080249 - 12 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1102
Abstract
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are regulated in cancer cells, including lncRNA MEG3, which is downregulated in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). In addition, hepatitis C virus (HCV) core proteins are known to dysregulate important cellular pathways that are linked to HCC development. In this study, [...] Read more.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are regulated in cancer cells, including lncRNA MEG3, which is downregulated in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). In addition, hepatitis C virus (HCV) core proteins are known to dysregulate important cellular pathways that are linked to HCC development. In this study, we were interested in evaluating the overexpression of lncRNA MEG3, either alone or in combination with two forms of HCV core protein (C173 and C191) in HepG2 cells. Cell viability was assessed by MTT assay. Transcripts’ levels of key genes known to be regulated in HCC, such as p53, DNMT1, miRNA152, TGF-b, and BCL-2, were measured by qRT-PCR. Protein expression levels of caspase-3 and MKI67 were determined by immunocytochemistry and apoptosis assays. The co-expression of lncRNA MEG3 and C191 resulted in a marked increase and accumulation of dead cells and a reduction in cell viability. In addition, a marked increase in the expression of tumor suppressor genes (p53 and miRNA152), as well as a marked decrease in the expression of oncogenes (DNMT1, BCL2, and TGF-b), were detected. Moreover, apoptosis assay results revealed a significant increase in total apoptosis (early and late). Finally, immunocytochemistry results detected a significant increase in apoptotic marker caspase-3 and a decrease in tumor marker MKI67. In this study, transgene expression of C191 and lncRNA MEG3 showed induction in apoptosis in HepG2 cells greater than the expression of each one alone. These results suggest potential anticancer characteristics. Full article
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Article
Liraglutide Exerts Protective Effects by Downregulation of PPARγ, ACSL1 and SREBP-1c in Huh7 Cell Culture Models of Non-Alcoholic Steatosis and Drug-Induced Steatosis
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(8), 3465-3480; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44080239 - 02 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1078
Abstract
(1) Background: With the aging of the population and polypharmacy encountered in the elderly, drug-induced steatosis (DIS) has become frequent cause of non-alcoholic steatosis (NAS). Indeed, NAS and DIS may co-exist, making the ability to distinguish between the entities ever more important. The [...] Read more.
(1) Background: With the aging of the population and polypharmacy encountered in the elderly, drug-induced steatosis (DIS) has become frequent cause of non-alcoholic steatosis (NAS). Indeed, NAS and DIS may co-exist, making the ability to distinguish between the entities ever more important. The aim of our study was to study cell culture models of NAS and DIS and determine the effects of liraglutide (LIRA) in those models. (2) Methods: Huh7 cells were treated with oleic acid (OA), or amiodarone (AMD) to establish models of NAS and DIS, respectively. Cells were treated with LIRA and cell viability was assessed by MTT, lipid accumulation by Oil-Red-O staining and triglyceride assay, and intracellular signals involved in hepatosteatosis were quantitated by RT-PCR. (3) Results: After exposure to various OA and AMD concentrations, those that achieved 80% of cells viabilities were used in further experiments to establish NAS and DIS models using 0.5 mM OA and 20 µM AMD, respectively. In both models, LIRA increased cell viability (p < 0.01). Lipid accumulation was increased in both models, with microsteatotic pattern in DIS, and macrosteatotic pattern in NAS which corresponds to greater triglyceride accumulation in latter. LIRA ameliorated these changes (p < 0.001), and downregulated expression of lipogenic ACSL1, PPARγ, and SREBP-1c pathways in the liver (p < 0.01) (4) Conclusions: LIRA ameliorates hepatocyte steatosis in Huh7 cell culture models of NAS and DIS. Full article
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Article
MiR-155 Dysregulation Is Associated with the Augmentation of ROS/p53 Axis of Fibrosis in Thioacetamide-Induced Hepatotoxicity and Is Protected by Resveratrol
Diagnostics 2022, 12(7), 1762; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12071762 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 732
Abstract
Liver fibrosis is a hallmark of thioacetamide (TAA) intoxications. MicroRNAs (miRs), such as miR-155, have been implied in the pathogenesis of liver disease, and regulated by the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound resveratrol (RES). The link between reactive oxygen species (ROS), tumour suppressor p53 [...] Read more.
Liver fibrosis is a hallmark of thioacetamide (TAA) intoxications. MicroRNAs (miRs), such as miR-155, have been implied in the pathogenesis of liver disease, and regulated by the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound resveratrol (RES). The link between reactive oxygen species (ROS), tumour suppressor p53 (p53), and liver fibrosis-during the pathogenesis of TAA-induced liver injury-associated with miR-155 dysregulation with and without RES incorporation has not been previously studied. Therefore, one group of rats received TAA injections of 200 mg/kg; twice a week at the beginning of week 3 for 8 weeks (TAA group; or model group), whereas the protective group was pretreated daily with RES suspension (20 mg/kg; orally) for the first two weeks and subsequently sustained on receiving both RES and TAA until being sacrificed at the 10th week. Liver injuries developed in the model group were confirmed by a significant (p < 0.0001) elevation of hepatic tissue levels of miR-155, ROS, p53, and the profibrogenic biomarkers: tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 and α-smooth muscle actin, as well as collagen deposition (fibrosis). All these parameters were significantly (p ≤ 0.0234) protected by resveratrol (RES + TAA). In addition, we observed a significant (p < 0.0001) correlation between ROS/p53 axis mediated liver fibrosis and miR-155. Thus, TAA intoxication induced miR-155 imbalance and ROS/p53-mediated liver fibrosis, with resveratrol, conversely displaying beneficial hepatic pleiotropic effects for a period of 10 weeks. Full article
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Article
Loxin Reduced the Inflammatory Response in the Liver and the Aortic Fatty Streak Formation in Mice Fed with a High-Fat Diet
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(13), 7329; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23137329 - 30 Jun 2022
Viewed by 999
Abstract
Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) is the most harmful form of cholesterol associated with vascular atherosclerosis and hepatic injury, mainly due to inflammatory cell infiltration and subsequent severe tissue injury. Lox-1 is the central ox-LDL receptor expressed in endothelial and immune cells, its activation [...] Read more.
Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) is the most harmful form of cholesterol associated with vascular atherosclerosis and hepatic injury, mainly due to inflammatory cell infiltration and subsequent severe tissue injury. Lox-1 is the central ox-LDL receptor expressed in endothelial and immune cells, its activation regulating inflammatory cytokines and chemotactic factor secretion. Recently, a Lox-1 truncated protein isoform lacking the ox-LDL binding domain named LOXIN has been described. We have previously shown that LOXIN overexpression blocked Lox-1-mediated ox-LDL internalization in human endothelial progenitor cells in vitro. However, the functional role of LOXIN in targeting inflammation or tissue injury in vivo remains unknown. In this study, we investigate whether LOXIN modulated the expression of Lox-1 and reduced the inflammatory response in a high-fat-diet mice model. Results indicate that human LOXIN blocks Lox-1 mediated uptake of ox-LDL in H4-II-E-C3 cells. Furthermore, in vivo experiments showed that overexpression of LOXIN reduced both fatty streak lesions in the aorta and inflammation and fibrosis in the liver. These findings were associated with the down-regulation of Lox-1 in endothelial cells. Then, LOXIN prevents hepatic and aortic tissue damage in vivo associated with reduced Lox-1 expression in endothelial cells. We encourage future research to understand better the underlying molecular mechanisms and potential therapeutic use of LOXIN. Full article
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Article
Arterial Calcifications in Patients with Liver Cirrhosis Are Linked to Hepatic Deficiency of Pyrophosphate Production Restored by Liver Transplantation
Biomedicines 2022, 10(7), 1496; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10071496 - 24 Jun 2022
Viewed by 771
Abstract
Liver fibrosis is associated with arterial calcification (AC). Since the liver is a source of inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi), an anti-calcifying compound, we investigated the relationship between plasma PPi ([PPi]pl), liver fibrosis, liver function, AC, and the hepatic expression of genes regulating PPi homeostasis. [...] Read more.
Liver fibrosis is associated with arterial calcification (AC). Since the liver is a source of inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi), an anti-calcifying compound, we investigated the relationship between plasma PPi ([PPi]pl), liver fibrosis, liver function, AC, and the hepatic expression of genes regulating PPi homeostasis. To that aim, we compared [PPi]pl before liver transplantation (LT) and 3 months after LT. We also assessed the expression of four key regulators of PPi in liver tissues and established correlations between AC, and scores of liver fibrosis and liver failure in these patients. LT candidates with various liver diseases were included. AC scores were assessed in coronary arteries, abdominal aorta, and aortic valves. Liver fibrosis was evaluated on liver biopsies and from non-invasive tests (FIB-4 and APRI scores). Liver functions were assessed by measuring serum albumin, ALBI, MELD, and Pugh–Child scores. An enzymatic assay was used to dose [PPi]pl. A group of patients without liver alterations from a previous cohort provided a control group. Gene expression assays were performed with mRNA extracted from liver biopsies and compared between LT recipients and the control individuals. [PPi]pl negatively correlated with APRI (r = −0.57, p = 0.001, n = 29) and FIB-4 (r = −0.47, p = 0.006, n = 29) but not with interstitial fibrosis index from liver biopsies (r = 0.07, p = 0.40, n = 16). Serum albumin positively correlated with [PPi]pl (r = 0.71; p < 0.0001, n = 20). ALBI, MELD, and Pugh–Child scores correlated negatively with [PPi]pl (r = −0.60, p = 0.0005; r = −0.56, p = 0.002; r = −0.41, p = 0.02, respectively, with n = 20). Liver fibrosis assessed on liver biopsies by FIB-4 and by APRI positively correlated with coronary AC (r = 0.51, p = 0.02, n = 16; r = 0.58, p = 0.009, n = 20; r = 0.41, p = 0.04, n = 20, respectively) and with abdominal aorta AC (r = 0.50, p = 0.02, n = 16; r = 0.67, p = 0.002, n = 20; r = 0.61, p = 0.04, n = 20, respectively). FIB-4 also positively correlated with aortic valve calcification (r = 0.40, p = 0.046, n = 20). The key regulator genes of PPi production in liver were lower in patients undergoing liver transplantation as compared to controls. Three months after surgery, serum albumin levels were restored to physiological levels (40 [37–44] vs. 35 [30–40], p = 0.009) and [PPi]pl was normalized (1.40 [1.07–1.86] vs. 0.68 [0.53–0.80] µmol/L, p = 0.0005, n = 12). Liver failure and/or fibrosis correlated with AC in several arterial beds and were associated with low plasma PPi and dysregulation of key proteins involved in PPi homeostasis. Liver transplantation normalized these parameters. Full article
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Article
SIRT2 Deficiency Exacerbates Hepatic Steatosis via a Putative Role of the ER Stress Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(12), 6790; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23126790 - 17 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1147
Abstract
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition strongly associated with obesity and insulin resistance, is characterized by hepatic lipid accumulation and activation of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response. The sirtuin 2 (SIRT2) protein deacetylase is emerging as a new player in metabolic [...] Read more.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition strongly associated with obesity and insulin resistance, is characterized by hepatic lipid accumulation and activation of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response. The sirtuin 2 (SIRT2) protein deacetylase is emerging as a new player in metabolic homeostasis, but its role in the development of hepatic steatosis and its link with ER stress activation remains unknown. SIRT2-knockout (SIRT2-KO) and wild-type mice were fed either a control or a high-fat diet (HFD) for 4 weeks. Genetic manipulation of SIRT2 levels was performed in human hepatic cells. Although apparently normal under a control diet, SIRT2-KO mice showed accelerated body weight gain and adiposity on a HFD, accompanied by severe insulin resistance. Importantly, SIRT2-KO mice exhibited worsened hepatic steatosis independently from diet, consistent with upregulated gene expression of lipogenic enzymes and increased expression of ER stress markers. Exposure of hepatic cells to palmitate induced lipid accumulation, increased ER stress, and decreased SIRT2 expression. Moreover, SIRT2-silenced cells showed enhanced lipid accumulation and ER stress activation under basal conditions, whereas SIRT2 overexpression abrogated palmitate-induced lipid deposition and ER stress activation. Our findings reveal a role for SIRT2 in the regulation of hepatic lipid homeostasis, potentially through the ER stress response, suggesting that SIRT2 activation might constitute a therapeutic strategy against obesity and its metabolic complications. Full article
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Article
Down-Regulating the High Level of 17-Beta-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase 13 Plays a Therapeutic Role for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5544; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23105544 - 16 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1133
Abstract
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease worldwide, and there is no specific drug to treat it. Recent results showed that 17-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 13 (HSD17B13) is associated with liver diseases, but these conclusions are controversial. Here, we [...] Read more.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease worldwide, and there is no specific drug to treat it. Recent results showed that 17-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 13 (HSD17B13) is associated with liver diseases, but these conclusions are controversial. Here, we showed that HSD17B13 was more highly expressed in the livers of NAFLD patients, and high expression was induced in the livers of murine NAFLD models and cultural hepatocytes treated using various etiologies. The high HSD17B13 expression in the hepatocytes facilitated the progression of NAFLD by directly stabilizing the intracellular lipid drops and by indirectly activating hepatic stellate cells. When HSD17B13 was overexpressed in the liver, it aggravated liver steatosis and fibrosis in mice fed with a high-fat diet, while down-regulated the high expression of HSD17B13 by short hairpin RNAs produced a therapeutic effect in the NAFLD mice. We concluded that high HSD17B13 expression is a good target for the development of drugs to treat NAFLD. Full article
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Article
Phosphoproteomics Unravel HBV Triggered Rewiring of Host Phosphosignaling Events
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(9), 5127; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23095127 - 04 May 2022
Viewed by 1068
Abstract
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection persists as a major global health problem despite the availability of HBV vaccines for disease prevention. However, vaccination rates remains low in some regions of the world, driving the need for novel strategies to minimise infections and prevent [...] Read more.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection persists as a major global health problem despite the availability of HBV vaccines for disease prevention. However, vaccination rates remains low in some regions of the world, driving the need for novel strategies to minimise infections and prevent disease progression. Thus, understanding of perturbed molecular signaling events during early phases of HBV infection is required. Phosphosignaling is known to be involved in the HBV infection processes, yet systems-level changes in phosphosignaling pathways in the host during infection remain unclear. To this end, we performed phosphoproteome profiling on HBV-infected HepG2-NTCP cells. Our results showed that HBV infection drastically altered the host phosphoproteome and its associated proteins, including kinases. Computational analysis of this phosphoproteome revealed dysregulation of the pathways involved in immune responses, cell cycle processes, and RNA processing during HBV infection. Kinase Substrate Enrichment Analysis (KSEA) identified the dysregulated activities of important kinases, including those from CMGC (CDK, MAPK, GSK, and CLK), AGC (protein kinase A, G, and C), and TK (Tyrosine Kinase) families. Of note, the inhibition of CLKs significantly reduced HBV infection in HepG2-NTCP cells. In all, our study unravelled the aberrated phosphosignaling pathways and the associated kinases, presenting potential entry points for developing novel therapeutic strategies for HBV treatment. Full article
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Article
Effect of Porcine Placental Extract Mixture on Alcohol-Induced Hepatotoxicity in Rats
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(5), 2029-2037; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44050137 - 01 May 2022
Viewed by 1018
Abstract
This study was conducted to examine the effect of porcine placenta extract mixture (pPEM, enzymatic/acidic extract = 1/3) on alcoholic hepatotoxicity after pPEM dosing with alcohol in rats. The experimental groups were normal, control, silymarin, three pPEM (590, 1771, and 2511 mg/kg/day, po), [...] Read more.
This study was conducted to examine the effect of porcine placenta extract mixture (pPEM, enzymatic/acidic extract = 1/3) on alcoholic hepatotoxicity after pPEM dosing with alcohol in rats. The experimental groups were normal, control, silymarin, three pPEM (590, 1771, and 2511 mg/kg/day, po), and silymarin (100 mg/kg/day, po) groups (n = 10). Alcoholic hepatotoxicity was caused by a liquid ethanol diet for 4 weeks. The effect of pPEM and silymarin on alcoholic hepatotoxicity was evaluated by serology, hepatic ADH and ALDH activities, and histopathological findings. After oral dosing with alcohol for 4 weeks, ALT and AST were significantly increased to 33.7 → 115.6 and 81.37 → 235.0 in the alcohol group, respectively. These levels were decreased significantly to 83.9 and 126.7 in the silymarin group and dose-dependently to 73.6–56.9 and 139.2–122.8 in all pPEM groups. Hepatic ADH and ALDH might have been increased in the control and not in the silymarin and pPEM groups for hepatic ADH. All pPEM groups exhibited no effects on hepatic ALDH except for the high pPEM group. Mild inflammation and fatty lesions were observed in the alcohol group and were attenuated in the silymarin and pPEM groups. As a results, the pPEM showed protective activities against alcoholic hepatotoxicity on the serological markers, hepatic ADH and ALDH, and pathological findings. Full article
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Article
FIB-4 and APRI as Predictive Factors for Short- and Long-Term Survival in Patients with Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Stent Shunts
Biomedicines 2022, 10(5), 1018; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10051018 - 28 Apr 2022
Viewed by 810
Abstract
(1) Background: Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is a standard therapy for portal hypertension. We aimed to explore the association of established baseline scores with TIPS outcomes. (2) Methods: In total, 136 liver cirrhosis patients underwent TIPS insertion, mainly to treat refractory ascites [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is a standard therapy for portal hypertension. We aimed to explore the association of established baseline scores with TIPS outcomes. (2) Methods: In total, 136 liver cirrhosis patients underwent TIPS insertion, mainly to treat refractory ascites (86%), between January 2016 and December 2019. An external validation cohort of 187 patients was chosen. (3) Results: The majority of the patients were male (62%); the median follow-up was 715 days. The baseline Child—Turcotte–Pugh stage was A in 14%, B in 75% and C in 11%. The patients’ liver-transplant-free (LTF) survival rates after 3, 12 and 24 months were 87%, 72% and 61%, respectively. In the univariate analysis, neither bilirubin, nor the international normalized ratio (INR), nor liver enzymes were associated with survival. However, both the APRI (AST-to-platelet ratio index) and the FIB-4 (fibrosis-4 score) were associated with LTF survival. For patients with FIB-4 > 3.25, the hazard ratio for mortality after 2 years was 3.952 (p < 0.0001). Liver-related clinical events were monitored for 24 months. High FIB-4 scores were predictive of liver-related events (HR = 2.404, p = 0.001). Similarly, in our validation cohort, LTF survival was correlated with the APRI and FIB-4 scores. (4) Conclusions: Well-established scores that reflect portal hypertension and biochemical disease activity predict long-term outcomes after TIPS and support clinical decisions over TIPS insertion. Full article
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Article
Beneficial Effect of Fenofibrate and Silymarin on Hepatic Steatosis and Gene Expression of Lipogenic and Cytochrome P450 Enzymes in Non-Obese Hereditary Hypertriglyceridemic Rats
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(5), 1889-1900; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44050129 - 26 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1079
Abstract
The efficacy of fenofibrate in the treatment of hepatic steatosis has not been clearly demonstrated. In this study, we investigated the effects of fenofibrate and silymarin, administered as monotherapy and in combination to existing hepatic steatosis in a unique strain of hereditary hypertriglyceridemic [...] Read more.
The efficacy of fenofibrate in the treatment of hepatic steatosis has not been clearly demonstrated. In this study, we investigated the effects of fenofibrate and silymarin, administered as monotherapy and in combination to existing hepatic steatosis in a unique strain of hereditary hypertriglyceridemic rats (HHTg), a non-obese model of metabolic syndrome. HHTg rats were fed a standard diet without or with fenofibrate (100 mg/kg b.wt./day) or with silymarin (1%) or with a combination of fenofibrate with silymarin for four weeks. Fenofibrate alone and in combination with silymarin decreased serum and liver triglycerides and cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol. These effects were associated with the decreased gene expression of enzymes involved in lipid synthesis and transport, while enzymes of lipid conversion were upregulated. The combination treatment had a beneficial effect on the gene expression of hepatic cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes. The expression of the CYP2E1 enzyme, which is source of hepatic reactive oxygen species, was reduced. In addition, fenofibrate-induced increased CYP4A1 expression was decreased, suggesting a reduction in the pro-inflammatory effects of fenofibrate. These results show high efficacy and mechanisms of action of the combination of fenofibrate with silymarin in treating hepatic steatosis and indicate the possibility of protection against disorders in which oxidative stress and inflammation are involved. Full article
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Article
Liver Frailty Index for Prediction of Short-Term Rehospitalization in Patients with Liver Cirrhosis
Diagnostics 2022, 12(5), 1069; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12051069 - 24 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1203
Abstract
Background: Stratifying patients with liver cirrhosis for risk of rehospitalization is challenging with established scoring systems for chronic liver disease. Frailty captures the physical characteristics of patients with cirrhosis. Its value for predicting short-term rehospitalizations in hospitalized patients remains to be defined. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Stratifying patients with liver cirrhosis for risk of rehospitalization is challenging with established scoring systems for chronic liver disease. Frailty captures the physical characteristics of patients with cirrhosis. Its value for predicting short-term rehospitalizations in hospitalized patients remains to be defined. Methods: Eighty-three non-electively hospitalized patients with liver cirrhosis were analyzed in this study. Frailty was assessed during the last 48 h of hospital stay with the liver frailty index (LFI). Patients were followed for 30-day rehospitalization. Results: In total, 26 (31%) patients were rehospitalized within 30 days. The median LFI was 4.5, and 43 (52%) patients were identified as frail. Rehospitalized patients had a significant higher LFI compared to patients without a rehospitalization within 30 days. In multivariable analysis, LFI as a metric variable (OR 2.36, p = 0.02) and lower platelet count (OR 0.98, p < 0.01) were independently associated with rehospitalization. LFI and its subtest chair stands had the best discriminative ability to predict rehospitalization, with AUROCs of 0.66 and 0.67, respectively. An LFI cut-off of >4.62 discriminated best between patients with and without elevated risk for rehospitalization within 30 days. Conclusions: Measures of frailty could be useful to identify patients at higher risk for short-term rehospitalization. Full article
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Article
Cyanidin-3-Glucoside Modulates hsa_circ_0001345/miRNA106b/ATG16L1 Axis Expression as a Potential Protective Mechanism against Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1677-1687; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040115 - 12 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1254
Abstract
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common form of malignancy in the liver. Autophagy was found to have a significant effect in controlling HCC. Anthocyanins, which are naturally occurring pigments in a variety of fruits and vegetables, have been thoroughly documented to be [...] Read more.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common form of malignancy in the liver. Autophagy was found to have a significant effect in controlling HCC. Anthocyanins, which are naturally occurring pigments in a variety of fruits and vegetables, have been thoroughly documented to be involved in a variety of bioactive activities and are widely employed for their antioxidant capabilities. Cyanidin-3-glucoside (C3G) extracted from Morus alba L. has promising antioxidant and anti-tumour activities. The current study aims to examine the protective action of C3G against hepatocellular carcinoma through the investigation of the autophagy protein ATG16L1 expression along with its related RNA molecules (hsa_circ_0001345 and miRNA106b) in Wistar rats. In vivo precancerous lesions (PCL) were induced using diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and acetamidofluorene (2-AAF). Rats were treated with C3G (10, 15, and 20 mg/kg; 4 times weekly) for 112 days (16 weeks). Liver function tests, alfa fetoprotein, ATG16L1 expression, hsa_circ_0001345, and miRNA106b differential expression were examined. Liver sections were examined by histological and immunohistochemical approaches. The current study’s findings indicated that C3G administration protects against the negative effects of DEN-2-AAF on liver functions and liver histopathological sections, which nominated C3G as a potential prophylactic agent against HCC. Full article
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Comment
Comment on Aldén et al. Intracellular Reverse Transcription of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 In Vitro in Human Liver Cell Line. Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44, 1115–1126
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(4), 1661-1663; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44040113 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 25848
Abstract
Aldén et al. (2022) recently reported the intracellular reverse transcription of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 in vitro in a human liver cell line (Huh7) [...] Full article
Review
Molecular, Viral and Clinical Features of Alcohol- and Non-Alcohol-Induced Liver Injury
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(3), 1294-1315; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44030087 - 16 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1353
Abstract
Hepatic cells are sensitive to internal and external signals. Ethanol is one of the oldest and most widely used drugs in the world. The focus on the mechanistic engine of the alcohol-induced injury has been in the liver, which is responsible for the [...] Read more.
Hepatic cells are sensitive to internal and external signals. Ethanol is one of the oldest and most widely used drugs in the world. The focus on the mechanistic engine of the alcohol-induced injury has been in the liver, which is responsible for the pathways of alcohol metabolism. Ethanol undergoes a phase I type of reaction, mainly catalyzed by the cytoplasmic enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), and by the microsomal ethanol-oxidizing system (MEOS). Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by cytochrome (CYP) 2E1 activity and MEOS contribute to ethanol-induced toxicity. We aimed to: (1) Describe the cellular, pathophysiological and clinical effects of alcohol misuse on the liver; (2) Select the biomarkers and analytical methods utilized by the clinical laboratory to assess alcohol exposure; (3) Provide therapeutic ideas to prevent/reduce alcohol-induced liver injury; (4) Provide up-to-date knowledge regarding the Corona virus and its affect on the liver; (5) Link rare diseases with alcohol consumption. The current review contributes to risk identification of patients with alcoholic, as well as non-alcoholic, liver disease and metabolic syndrome. Additional prevalence of ethnic, genetic, and viral vulnerabilities are presented. Full article
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Article
Working Algorithms and Detection Methods of Autoantibodies in Autoimmune Liver Disease: A Nationwide Study
Diagnostics 2022, 12(3), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12030697 - 12 Mar 2022
Viewed by 2504
Abstract
Autoantibody detection is the cornerstone of autoimmune liver diseases (AILD) diagnosis. Standardisation of working algorithms among autoimmunity laboratories, as well as being aware of the sensitivity and specificity of various commercial techniques in daily practice, are still necessary. The aim of this nationwide [...] Read more.
Autoantibody detection is the cornerstone of autoimmune liver diseases (AILD) diagnosis. Standardisation of working algorithms among autoimmunity laboratories, as well as being aware of the sensitivity and specificity of various commercial techniques in daily practice, are still necessary. The aim of this nationwide study is to report the results of the 2020 Autoimmunity Workshop organised by the Autoimmunity Group of the Spanish Society of Immunology and to provide useful information to clinicians and laboratory specialists to improve the management of autoantibody detection in AILD diagnoses. Serum samples from 17 patients with liver diseases were provided by the organisers of the 2020 Autoimmunity Workshop and were subsequently analysed by the 40 participating laboratories. Each laboratory used different techniques for the detection of autoantibodies in each patients’ serum sample, according to their working algorithm. Thus, almost 680 total complete patient reports were obtained, and the number of results from different autoantibody detection techniques was >3000. Up to eight different working algorithms were employed, including indirect immunofluorescence assays (IFA) and antigen-specific techniques (AgST). The IFA of HEp-2 cells was more sensitive than IFA of rat triple tissue for the study of anti-nuclear autoantibodies (ANA) associated with AILD. The IFA of a human neutrophil study for the analysis of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies was not carried out systemically in all patients, or by all laboratories. AgSTs were the most sensitive methods for the detection of anti-smooth muscle/F-actin, soluble liver antigen, liver cytosol-1, M2-mitochondrial autoantibodies, and ANA associated with primary biliary cholangitis. The main differences in AMA detection were due to patients with autoantibodies against the non-dominant epitope of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. Given that they are complementary, IFA and AgST should be performed in parallel. If there is high suspicion of AILD, AgST should always be performed. Full article
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Article
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Defined by Fatty Liver Index and Incidence of Heart Failure in the Korean Population: A Nationwide Cohort Study
Diagnostics 2022, 12(3), 663; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12030663 - 09 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1630
Abstract
Fatty liver index (FLI) is a simple and useful index that evaluates non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), particularly in large epidemiologic studies. Heart failure (HF) is becoming a burden to public health as the global trend toward an aging society continues. Thus, we [...] Read more.
Fatty liver index (FLI) is a simple and useful index that evaluates non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), particularly in large epidemiologic studies. Heart failure (HF) is becoming a burden to public health as the global trend toward an aging society continues. Thus, we investigated the effect of FLI on the incidence of HF using large cohort data from the Korean National Health Insurance health database. Methods and Results: A total of 7,958,538 subjects aged over 19 years without baseline HF (men = 4,142,264 and women = 3,816,274) were included. Anthropometric and biochemical measurements were evaluated. FLI scores were calculated and FLI ≥ 60 was considered as having NAFLD. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for HF incidence were analysed using multivariable time-dependent Cox proportional hazard models. During a mean follow up of 8.26 years, 17,104 participants developed HF. The FLI components associated with the incidence of HF and FLI showed a causal relationship with HF; the FLI ≥ 60 group had a higher HR for HF (HR 1.493; 95% CIs 1.41–1.581) than the FLI < 30 group. Subgroup analysis showed that fatty liver (FLI ≥ 60) with age ≥ 65 years or women displayed higher HR for HF than fatty liver with age < 65 or men, respectively. An increase in FLI score significantly increased the HR for HF except for those with a FLI score change from <30 to 30–60. Conclusion: NAFLD defined by FLI and increase in FLI score were associated with the incidence of HF. Further detailed prospective studies are needed. Full article
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Article
DNA Methylation Patterns According to Fatty Liver Index and Longitudinal Changes from the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study (KoGES)
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(3), 1149-1168; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44030075 - 27 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1639
Abstract
The role of differentially methylated regions (DMRs) in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is unclear. This study aimed to identify the role of DMR in NAFLD development and progression using the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study (KoGES) cohort. We used laboratory evaluations and [...] Read more.
The role of differentially methylated regions (DMRs) in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is unclear. This study aimed to identify the role of DMR in NAFLD development and progression using the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study (KoGES) cohort. We used laboratory evaluations and Illumina Methylation 450 k DNA methylation microarray data from KoGES. The correlation between fatty liver index (FLI) and genomic CpG sites was analyzed in 322 subjects. Longitudinal changes over 8 years were confirmed in 33 subjects. To identify CpG sites and genes related to FLI, we obtained enrichment terms for 6765 genes. DMRs were identified for both high (n = 128) and low (n = 194) groups on the basis of FLI 30 in 142 men and 180 women. To confirm longitudinal changes in 33 subjects, the ratio of follow-up and baseline investigation values was obtained. Correlations and group comparisons were performed for the 8 year change values. PITPNM3, RXFP3, and THRB were hypermethylated in the increased FLI groups, whereas SLC9A2 and FOXI3 were hypermethylated in the decreased FLI groups. DMRs describing NAFLD were determined, and functions related to inflammation were identified. Factors related to longitudinal changes are suggested, and blood circulation-related functions appear to be important in the management of NAFLD. Full article
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Article
Intracellular Reverse Transcription of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 In Vitro in Human Liver Cell Line
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(3), 1115-1126; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44030073 - 25 Feb 2022
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 1895635
Abstract
Preclinical studies of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine BNT162b2, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, showed reversible hepatic effects in animals that received the BNT162b2 injection. Furthermore, a recent study showed that SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be reverse-transcribed and integrated into the genome of human cells. In [...] Read more.
Preclinical studies of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine BNT162b2, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, showed reversible hepatic effects in animals that received the BNT162b2 injection. Furthermore, a recent study showed that SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be reverse-transcribed and integrated into the genome of human cells. In this study, we investigated the effect of BNT162b2 on the human liver cell line Huh7 in vitro. Huh7 cells were exposed to BNT162b2, and quantitative PCR was performed on RNA extracted from the cells. We detected high levels of BNT162b2 in Huh7 cells and changes in gene expression of long interspersed nuclear element-1 (LINE-1), which is an endogenous reverse transcriptase. Immunohistochemistry using antibody binding to LINE-1 open reading frame-1 RNA-binding protein (ORFp1) on Huh7 cells treated with BNT162b2 indicated increased nucleus distribution of LINE-1. PCR on genomic DNA of Huh7 cells exposed to BNT162b2 amplified the DNA sequence unique to BNT162b2. Our results indicate a fast up-take of BNT162b2 into human liver cell line Huh7, leading to changes in LINE-1 expression and distribution. We also show that BNT162b2 mRNA is reverse transcribed intracellularly into DNA in as fast as 6 h upon BNT162b2 exposure. Full article
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Article
Renoprotective Effect of Liraglutide Is Mediated via the Inhibition of TGF-Beta 1 in an LLC-PK1 Cell Model of Diabetic Nephropathy
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(3), 1087-1114; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44030072 - 25 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2212
Abstract
Background: Recently published research demonstrated direct renoprotective effects of the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist GLP 1 RA, but the relevant molecular mechanisms are still not clear. The aim of this research was to assess the effects of Liraglutide in a cell culture model [...] Read more.
Background: Recently published research demonstrated direct renoprotective effects of the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist GLP 1 RA, but the relevant molecular mechanisms are still not clear. The aim of this research was to assess the effects of Liraglutide in a cell culture model of diabetic nephropathy on cell viability, antioxidant (GSH) and transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF- β1) levels and extracellular matrix (ECM) expression. The metabolic activity in hyperglycemic conditions and the effect of Liraglutide treatment were assessed by measuring Akt, pAkt, GSK3β, pGSK3β, pSTAT3, SOCS3, iNOS and NOX4 protein expression with Western blot. F actin distribution was used to assess the structural changes of the cells upon treatment. Materials and methods: The cells were exposed to high glucose (HG30 mM) followed by 0.5 mM H2O2 and a combination of glucose and H2O2 during 24 h. Subsequently, the cells were treated with different combinations of HG30, H2O2 and Liraglutide. Cell viability was determined by an MTT colorimetric test, and the GSH, TGF-β1 concentration and ECM expression were measured using a spectrophotometric/microplate reader assay and an ELISA kit, respectively. Western blotting was used to detect the protein level of Akt, pAkt, GSK3β, pGSK3β, pSTAT3, SOCS3, iNOS and NOX4. The F-actin cytoskeleton was visualized with Phalloidin stain and subsequently quantified. Results: Cell viability was decreased as well as GSH levels in cells treated with a combination of HG30/H2O2, and HG30 alone (p < 0.001). The addition of Liraglutide improved the viability in cells treated with HG30, but it did not affect the cell viability in the cell treated with the addition of H2O2. GSH increased with the addition of Liraglutide in HG30/H2O2 (p < 0.001) treated cells, with no effect in cells treated only with HG30. TGF-β1 levels (p < 0.001) were significantly increased in HG30 and HG30/H2O2. The addition of Liraglutide significantly decreased the TGF-β1 levels (p < 0.01; p < 0.05) in all treated cells. The synthesis of collagen was significantly increased in HG30/H2O2 (p < 0.001), while the addition of Liraglutide in HG30/H2O2 significantly decreased collagen (p < 0.001). Akt signaling was not significantly affected by treatment. The GSK3b and NOX4 levels were significantly reduced (p < 0.01) after the peroxide and glucose treatment, with the observable restoration upon the addition of Liraglutide suggesting an important role of Liraglutide in oxidative status regulation and mitochondrial activity. The treatment with Liraglutide significantly upregulated STAT3 (p < 0.01) activity, with no change in SOCS3 indicating a selective regulation of the STAT 3 signaling pathway in glucose and the oxidative overloaded environment. A significant reduction in the distribution of F-actin was observed in cells treated with HG30/H2O2 (p < 0.01). The addition of Liraglutide to HG30-treated cells led to a significant decrease of distribution of F-actin (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The protective effect of Liraglutide is mediated through the inhibition of TGF beta, but this effect is dependent on the extent of cellular damage and the type of toxic environment. Based on the WB analysis we have revealed the signaling pathways involved in cytoprotective and cytotoxic effects of the drug itself, and further molecular studies in vitro and vivo are required to elucidate the complexity of the pathophysiological mechanisms of Liraglutide under conditions of hyperglycemia and oxidative stress. Full article
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Article
MicroRNA-22-3p and MicroRNA-149-5p Inhibit Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Growth and Metastasis Properties by Regulating Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(2), 952-962; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44020063 - 16 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1475
Abstract
microRNAs are small endogenous noncoding RNAs that have emerged as key negative regulators that target gene expression through RISC. Our previous study showed that the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene (MTHFR) plays a key role in one carbon metabolism, which is downregulated by [...] Read more.
microRNAs are small endogenous noncoding RNAs that have emerged as key negative regulators that target gene expression through RISC. Our previous study showed that the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene (MTHFR) plays a key role in one carbon metabolism, which is downregulated by miR-22-3p and miR-149-5p, and that it could exert a potential anti-cancer effect. Whether miR-22-3p/miR-149-5p can regulate MTHFR to exert anti-cancer effects has become the focus of our research. Normal (HL-7702 cells) and cancerous (QGY-7703/HepG2 cells) human hepatocellular cells were transfected with 100 nM hsa-miR-22-3p/hsa-miR-149-5p mimic or controls. After 24, 48, and 72 h, cell proliferation ability was tested using CCK-8. The changes in MTHFR expression at both the transcriptional and translational levels were determined by RT-qPCR and Western blotting, respectively. Cancerous cell invasion and migration ability were confirmed by means of a transwell assay. We found that ectopic miR-22-3p/miR-149-5p inhibits hepatocellular carcinoma cell proliferation but does not inhibit normal human hepatocyte proliferation. The transfection of ectopic miR-22-3p/miR-149-5p downregulated the MTHFR expression in QGY-7703 and HepG2 but not in HL-7702. QGY-7703 and HepG2 migration and invasion were inhibited by ectopic miR-22-3p/miR-149-5p. Additionally, we found that ectopic miR-22-3p/miR-149-5p significantly increased the expression of TP53INP1 and PDCD4 in QGY-7703. The results of the study suggest that miRNA-22-3p and miRNA-149-5p inhibit tumor growth and metastasis properties may be by regulating MTHFR and that they exert anticancer effects in hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Full article
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Article
Antitumor Effect of Regorafenib on MicroRNA Expression in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Lines
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(3), 1667; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23031667 - 31 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1644
Abstract
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary malignancy of the liver and is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Regorafenib, a multi-kinase inhibitor, is used as a second-line treatment for advanced HCC. Here, we aimed to investigate the mechanism [...] Read more.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary malignancy of the liver and is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Regorafenib, a multi-kinase inhibitor, is used as a second-line treatment for advanced HCC. Here, we aimed to investigate the mechanism of the antitumor effect of regorafenib on HCC and evaluate altered microRNA (miRNA) expression. Cell proliferation was examined in six HCC cell lines (HuH-7, HepG2, HLF, PLC/PRF/5, Hep3B, and Li-7) using the Cell Counting Kit-8 assay. Xenografted mouse models were used to assess the effects of regorafenib in vivo. Cell cycle analysis, western blotting analysis, and miRNA expression analysis were performed to identify the antitumor inhibitory potential of regorafenib on HCC cells. Regorafenib suppressed proliferation in HuH-7 cell and induced G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and cyclin D1 downregulation in regorafenib-sensitive cells. During miRNA analysis, miRNA molecules associated with the antitumor effect of regorafenib were found. Regorafenib suppresses cell proliferation and tumor growth in HCC by decreasing cyclin D1 via alterations in intracellular and exosomal miRNAs in HCC. Full article
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Article
Developing Biliary Atresia-like Model by Treating Human Liver Organoids with Polyinosinic:Polycytidylic Acid (Poly (I:C))
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(2), 644-653; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44020045 - 27 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1815
Abstract
Background: We explored the feasibility of creating BA-like organoids by treating human liver organoids with Polyinosinic:Polycytidylic acid (Poly I:C). Methods: Organoids were developed from the liver parenchyma collected during Kasai portoenterostomy (BA) and surgery for other liver disorders (non-BA). The non-BA organoids were [...] Read more.
Background: We explored the feasibility of creating BA-like organoids by treating human liver organoids with Polyinosinic:Polycytidylic acid (Poly I:C). Methods: Organoids were developed from the liver parenchyma collected during Kasai portoenterostomy (BA) and surgery for other liver disorders (non-BA). The non-BA organoids were co-cultured with poly I:C (40 µg/mL). The organoid morphology from both samples was compared on day 17. RNA-sequencing was performed to examine the transcriptomic differences. Results: Non-BA liver organoids developed into well-expanded spherical organoids with a single-cell layer of epithelial cells and a single vacuole inside. After poly I:C treatment, the majority of these organoids developed into an aberrant morphology with a high index of similarity to BA organoids which are multi-vacuoled and/or unexpanded. RNA-sequencing analysis revealed that 19 inflammatory genes were commonly expressed in both groups. Conditional cluster analysis revealed several genes (SOCS6, SOCS6.1, ARAF, CAMK2G, GNA1C, ITGA2, PRKACA, PTEN) that are involved in immune-mediated signaling pathway had a distinct pattern of expression in the poly I:C treated organoids. This resembled the expression pattern in BA organoids (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Poly I:C treated human liver organoids exhibit morphology and genetic signature highly compatible to organoids developed from BA liver samples. They are potential research materials to study immune-mediated inflammation in BA. Full article
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Article
The Effect of TGF-β1 Reduced Functionality on the Expression of Selected Synaptic Proteins and Electrophysiological Parameters: Implications of Changes Observed in Acute Hepatic Encephalopathy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(3), 1081; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23031081 - 19 Jan 2022
Viewed by 863
Abstract
Decreased platelet count represents a feature of acute liver failure (ALF) pathogenesis. Platelets are the reservoir of transforming growth factor 1 (TGF-β1), a multipotent cytokine involved in the maintenance of, i.a., central nervous system homeostasis. Here, we analyzed the effect of a decrease [...] Read more.
Decreased platelet count represents a feature of acute liver failure (ALF) pathogenesis. Platelets are the reservoir of transforming growth factor 1 (TGF-β1), a multipotent cytokine involved in the maintenance of, i.a., central nervous system homeostasis. Here, we analyzed the effect of a decrease in TGF-β1 active form on synaptic proteins levels, and brain electrophysiology, in mice after intraperitoneal (ip) administration of TGF-β1 antibody (anti-TGF-β1; 1 mg/mL). Next, we correlated it with a thrombocytopenia-induced TGF-β1 decrease, documented in an azoxymethane-induced (AOM; 100 mM ip) model of ALF, and clarified the impact of TGF-β1 decrease on blood–brain barrier functionality. The increase of both synaptophysin and synaptotagmin in the cytosolic fraction, and its reduction in a membrane fraction, were confirmed in the AOM mice brains. Both proteins’ decrease in analyzed fractions occurred in anti-TGF-β1 mice. In turn, an increase in postsynaptic (NR1 subunit of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, postsynaptic density protein 95, gephyrin) proteins in the AOM brain cortex, but a selective compensatory increase of NR1 subunit in anti-TGF-β mice, was observed. The alterations of synaptic proteins levels were not translated on electrophysiological parameters in the anti-TGF-β1 model. The results suggest the impairment of synaptic vesicles docking to the postsynaptic membrane in the AOM model. Nevertheless, changes in synaptic protein level in the anti-TGF-β1 mice do not affect neurotransmission and may not contribute to neurologic deficits in AOM mice. Full article
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Article
Inhibition of Hedgehog Delays Liver Regeneration through Disrupting the Cell Cycle
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(2), 470-482; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44020032 - 18 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1633
Abstract
Liver regeneration is a complicated biological process orchestrated by various liver resident cells. Hepatic cell proliferation and reconstruction of the hepatic architecture involve multiple signaling pathways. It has been reported that the Hh signal is involved in liver regeneration. However, the signal transduction [...] Read more.
Liver regeneration is a complicated biological process orchestrated by various liver resident cells. Hepatic cell proliferation and reconstruction of the hepatic architecture involve multiple signaling pathways. It has been reported that the Hh signal is involved in liver regeneration. However, the signal transduction pathways and cell types involved are ill studied. This study aimed to investigate hedgehog signal response cell types and the specific molecular mechanism involved in the process of liver regeneration. Partial hepatectomy (PH) of 70% was performed on ICR (Institute of Cancer Research) mice to study the process of liver regeneration. We found that the hedgehog signal was activated significantly after PH, including hedgehog ligands, receptors and intracellular signaling molecules. Ligand signals were mainly expressed in bile duct cells and non-parenchymal hepatic cells, while receptors were expressed in hepatocytes and some non-parenchymal cells. Inhibition of the hedgehog signal treated with vismodegib reduced the liver regeneration rate after partial hepatectomy, including inhibition of hepatic cell proliferation by decreasing Cyclin D expression and disturbing the cell cycle through the accumulation of Cyclin B. The current study reveals the important role of the hedgehog signal and its participation in the regulation of hepatic cell proliferation and the cell cycle during liver regeneration. It provides new insight into the recovery of the liver after liver resection. Full article
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Review
A Pleiotropic Role of the Hepatitis B Virus Core Protein in Hepatocarcinogenesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(24), 13651; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222413651 - 20 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1282
Abstract
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is one of the most common factors associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is the sixth most prevalent cancer among all cancers worldwide. However, the pathogenesis of HBV-mediated hepatocarcinogenesis is unclear. Evidence currently available suggests that the [...] Read more.
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is one of the most common factors associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is the sixth most prevalent cancer among all cancers worldwide. However, the pathogenesis of HBV-mediated hepatocarcinogenesis is unclear. Evidence currently available suggests that the HBV core protein (HBc) plays a potential role in the development of HCC, such as the HBV X protein. The core protein, which is the structural component of the viral nucleocapsid, contributes to almost every stage of the HBV life cycle and occupies diverse roles in HBV replication and pathogenesis. Recent studies have shown that HBc was able to disrupt various pathways involved in liver carcinogenesis: the signaling pathways implicated in migration and proliferation of hepatoma cells, apoptosis pathways, and cell metabolic pathways inducing the development of HCC; and the immune system, through the expression and production of proinflammatory cytokines. In addition, HBc can modulate normal functions of hepatocytes through disrupting human host gene expression by binding to promoter regions. This HBV protein also promotes HCC metastasis through epigenetic alterations, such as micro-RNA. This review focuses on the molecular pathogenesis of the HBc protein in HBV-induced HCC. Full article
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Article
The Mechanism of Mitochondrial Injury in Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Mediated Liver Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(24), 13255; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222413255 - 09 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1368
Abstract
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is caused by a single mutation in the SERPINA1 gene, which culminates in the accumulation of misfolded alpha-1 antitrypsin (ZAAT) within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of hepatocytes. AATD is associated with liver disease resulting from hepatocyte injury due to [...] Read more.
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is caused by a single mutation in the SERPINA1 gene, which culminates in the accumulation of misfolded alpha-1 antitrypsin (ZAAT) within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of hepatocytes. AATD is associated with liver disease resulting from hepatocyte injury due to ZAAT-mediated toxic gain-of-function and ER stress. There is evidence of mitochondrial damage in AATD-mediated liver disease; however, the mechanism by which hepatocyte retention of aggregated ZAAT leads to mitochondrial injury is unknown. Previous studies have shown that ER stress is associated with both high concentrations of fatty acids and mitochondrial dysfunction in hepatocytes. Using a human AAT transgenic mouse model and hepatocyte cell lines, we show abnormal mitochondrial morphology and function, and dysregulated lipid metabolism, which are associated with hepatic expression and accumulation of ZAAT. We also describe a novel mechanism of ZAAT-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction. We provide evidence that misfolded ZAAT translocates to the mitochondria for degradation. Furthermore, inhibition of ZAAT expression restores the mitochondrial function in ZAAT-expressing hepatocytes. Altogether, our results show that ZAAT aggregation in hepatocytes leads to mitochondrial dysfunction. Our findings suggest a plausible model for AATD liver injury and the possibility of mechanism-based therapeutic interventions for AATD liver disease. Full article
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Article
Diagnostic Value of CEUS LI-RADS Version 2017 in Differentiating AFP-Negative Hepatocellular Carcinoma from Other Primary Malignancies of the Liver
Diagnostics 2021, 11(12), 2250; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11122250 - 01 Dec 2021
Viewed by 907
Abstract
Purpose: To explore the diagnostic value of Contrast-enhanced Ultrasound Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System version 2017 (CEUS LI-RADS v2017) in differentiating alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)-negative hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from other primary malignancies (OM) of the liver. Methods: The data of 99 patients with primary [...] Read more.
Purpose: To explore the diagnostic value of Contrast-enhanced Ultrasound Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System version 2017 (CEUS LI-RADS v2017) in differentiating alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)-negative hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from other primary malignancies (OM) of the liver. Methods: The data of 99 patients with primary liver malignant tumors confirmed by surgical pathology and AFP-negative from January 2018 to January 2021 were retrospectively analyzed, and the lesions were divided into 61 cases in the AFP-negative HCC group and 38 cases in the OM group according to the pathological findings, the CEUS features of the lesions were analyzed and the lesions were classified according to the CEUS LI-RADS v2017. Comparison of CEUS features between the two groups was performed using the χ2 test. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and coincidence rate of CEUS LI-RADS v2017 for the diagnosis of AFP-negative HCC and OM were calculated using pathological findings as the gold standard. Results: The differences in features of arterial phase enhancement and wash-out between the HCC and OM groups were statistically significant (p < 0.05). The sensitivity of diagnosing HCC by LR-5 was 62.3% and the specificity was 92.1%. The sensitivity of diagnosing OM by LR-M was 92.1% and the specificity was 83.6%. Conclusions: When AFP is negative in patients with intrahepatic focal lesions, LR-5 has high specificity but low sensitivity in the diagnosis of HCC, and LR-M has high sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of OM. CEUS LI-RADS is a tool to differentiate AFP-negative HCC and OM effectively. Full article
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Article
Recombinant Human HPS Protects Mice and Nonhuman Primates from Acute Liver Injury
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(23), 12886; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222312886 - 28 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1252
Abstract
Acute liver injury shares a common feature of hepatocytes death, immune system disorders, and cellular stress. Hepassocin (HPS) is a hepatokine that has ability to promote hepatocytes proliferation and to protect rats from D-galactose (D-Gal)- or carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced liver injury [...] Read more.
Acute liver injury shares a common feature of hepatocytes death, immune system disorders, and cellular stress. Hepassocin (HPS) is a hepatokine that has ability to promote hepatocytes proliferation and to protect rats from D-galactose (D-Gal)- or carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced liver injury by stimulating hepatocytes proliferation and preventing the high mortality rate, hepatocyte death, and hepatic inflammation. In this paper, we generated a pharmaceutical-grade recombinant human HPS using mammalian cells expression system and evaluated the effects of HPS administration on the pathogenesis of acute liver injury in monkey and mice. In the model mice of D-galactosamine (D-GalN) plus lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced liver injury, HPS treatment significantly reduced hepatocyte death and inflammation response, and consequently attenuated the development of acute liver failure. In the model monkey of D-GalN-induced liver injury, HPS administration promoted hepatocytes proliferation, prevented hepatocyte apoptosis and oxidation stress, and resulted in amelioration of liver injury. Furthermore, the primary pharmacokinetic study showed natural HPS possesses favorable pharmacokinetics; the acute toxicity study indicated no significant changes in behavioral, clinical, or histopathological parameters of HPS-treated mice, implying the clinical potential of HPS. Our results suggest that exogenous HPS has protective effects on acute liver injury in both mice and monkeys. HPS or HPS analogues and mimetics may provide novel drugs for the treatment of acute liver injury. Full article
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Article
Preparation and Characterization of Silymarin-Conjugated Gold Nanoparticles with Enhanced Anti-Fibrotic Therapeutic Effects against Hepatic Fibrosis in Rats: Role of MicroRNAs as Molecular Targets
Biomedicines 2021, 9(12), 1767; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9121767 - 25 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1780
Abstract
Background: The main obstacles of silymarin (SIL) application in liver diseases are its low bioavailability, elevated metabolism, rapid excretion in bile and urine, and inefficient intestinal resorption. The study aimed to synthesize and characterize silymarin-conjugated gold nanoparticles (SGNPs) formulation to improve SIL bioavailability [...] Read more.
Background: The main obstacles of silymarin (SIL) application in liver diseases are its low bioavailability, elevated metabolism, rapid excretion in bile and urine, and inefficient intestinal resorption. The study aimed to synthesize and characterize silymarin-conjugated gold nanoparticles (SGNPs) formulation to improve SIL bioavailability and release for potentiating its antifibrotic action. Methods: Both SGNPs and gold nanoparticles (GNPs) were prepared and characterized using standard characterization techniques. The improved formulation was assessed for in vitro drug release study and in vivo study on rats using CCl4 induced hepatic fibrosis model. SIL, SGNPs, and GNPs were administered by oral gavage daily for 30 days. At the end of the study, rats underwent anesthesia and were sacrificed, serum samples were collected for biochemical analysis. Liver tissues were collected to measure the genes and microRNAs (miRNAs) expressions. Also, histopathological and immunohistochemistry (IHC) examinations of hepatic tissues supported these results. Results: The successful formation and conjugation of SGNPs were confirmed by measurements methods. The synthesized nanohybrid SGNPs showed significant antifibrotic therapeutic action against CCl4-induced hepatic damage in rats, and preserved normal body weight, liver weight, liver index values, retained normal hepatic functions, lowered inflammatory markers, declined lipid peroxidation, and activated the antioxidant pathway nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (NRF2). The antifibrotic activities of SGNPs mediated through enhancing the hepatic expression of the protective miRNAs; miR-22, miR-29c, and miR-219a which results in suppressed expression of the main fibrosis mediators; TGFβR1, COL3A1, and TGFβR2, respectively. The histopathology and IHC analysis confirmed the anti-fibrotic effects of SGNPs. Conclusions: The successful synthesis of SGNPs with sizes ranging from 16 up to 20 nm and entrapment efficiency and loading capacity 96% and 38.69%, respectively. In vivo studies revealed that the obtained nano-formulation of SIL boosted its anti-fibrotic effects. Full article
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Article
Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR) Activation by 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-Dioxin (TCDD) Dose-Dependently Shifts the Gut Microbiome Consistent with the Progression of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(22), 12431; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222212431 - 18 Nov 2021
Viewed by 1654
Abstract
Gut dysbiosis with disrupted enterohepatic bile acid metabolism is commonly associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and recapitulated in a NAFLD-phenotype elicited by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in mice. TCDD induces hepatic fat accumulation and increases levels of secondary bile acids, including [...] Read more.
Gut dysbiosis with disrupted enterohepatic bile acid metabolism is commonly associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and recapitulated in a NAFLD-phenotype elicited by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in mice. TCDD induces hepatic fat accumulation and increases levels of secondary bile acids, including taurolithocholic acid and deoxycholic acid (microbial modified bile acids involved in host bile acid regulation signaling pathways). To investigate the effects of TCDD on the gut microbiota, the cecum contents of male C57BL/6 mice orally gavaged with sesame oil vehicle or 0.3, 3, or 30 µg/kg TCDD were examined using shotgun metagenomic sequencing. Taxonomic analysis identified dose-dependent increases in Lactobacillus species (i.e., Lactobacillus reuteri). Increased species were also associated with dose-dependent increases in bile salt hydrolase sequences, responsible for deconjugation reactions in secondary bile acid metabolism. Increased L. reuteri levels were further associated with mevalonate-dependent isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) biosynthesis and o-succinylbenzoate synthase, a menaquinone biosynthesis associated gene. Analysis of the gut microbiomes from cirrhosis patients identified an increased abundance of genes from the mevalonate-dependent IPP biosynthesis as well as several other menaquinone biosynthesis genes, including o-succinylbenzoate synthase. These results extend the association of lactobacilli with the AhR/intestinal axis in NAFLD progression and highlight the similarities between TCDD-elicited phenotypes in mice to human NAFLD. Full article
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Article
Tryptophan Side-Chain Oxidase Enzyme Suppresses Hepatocellular Carcinoma Growth through Degradation of Tryptophan
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(22), 12428; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222212428 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1315
Abstract
Tryptophan metabolism plays a role in the occurrence and development of hepatocellular carcinoma cells. By degrading certain amino acids, tumor growth can be limited while maintaining the body’s normal nutritional requirements. Tryptophan side-chain oxidase (TSO) enzyme can degrade tryptophan, and its inhibitory effect [...] Read more.
Tryptophan metabolism plays a role in the occurrence and development of hepatocellular carcinoma cells. By degrading certain amino acids, tumor growth can be limited while maintaining the body’s normal nutritional requirements. Tryptophan side-chain oxidase (TSO) enzyme can degrade tryptophan, and its inhibitory effect on hepatocellular carcinoma cells is worthy of further study. To investigate the degradation effect on tryptophan, TSO was isolated and purified from qq Pseudomonas. The reaction products were identified with high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS). De novo sequencing provided the complete amino acid sequence of TSO. The results of CCK-8, colony formation, transwell, and qPCR confirmed that TSO had inhibitory effects on the proliferation and migration of HCCLM3 (human hepatocarcinoma cell line) and HepG2 cells. The results of flow cytometry confirmed its apoptotic activity. In animal experiments, we found that the tumor-suppressive effect was better in the oncotherapy group than the intraperitoneal injection group. The results of immunohistochemistry also suggested that TSO could inhibit proliferation and promote apoptosis. In conclusion, a specific enzyme that can degrade tryptophan and inhibit the growth of hepatoma cells was authenticated, and its basic information was obtained by extraction/purification and amino acid sequencing. Full article
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Article
Inflammation and Liver Cell Death in Patients with Hepatitis C Viral Infection
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2021, 43(3), 2022-2035; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb43030139 - 16 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1934
Abstract
Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-induced liver disease contributes to chronic hepatitis. The immune factors identified in HCV include changes in the innate and adaptive immune system. The inflammatory mediators, known as “inflammasome”, are a consequence of the metabolic products of cells and commensal or [...] Read more.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-induced liver disease contributes to chronic hepatitis. The immune factors identified in HCV include changes in the innate and adaptive immune system. The inflammatory mediators, known as “inflammasome”, are a consequence of the metabolic products of cells and commensal or pathogenic bacteria and viruses. The only effective strategy to prevent disease progression is eradication of the viral infection. Immune cells play a pivotal role during liver inflammation, triggering fibrogenesis. The present paper discusses the potential role of markers in cell death and the inflammatory cascade leading to the severity of liver damage. We aim to present the clinical parameters and laboratory data in a cohort of 88 HCV-infected non-cirrhotic and 25 HCV cirrhotic patients, to determine the characteristic light microscopic (LM) and transmission electron microscopic (TEM) changes in their liver biopsies and to present the link between the severity of liver damage and the serum levels of cytokines and caspases. A matched HCV non-infected cohort was used for the comparison of serum inflammatory markers. We compared the inflammation in HCV individuals with a control group of 280 healthy individuals. We correlated the changes in inflammatory markers in different stages of the disease and the histology. We concluded that the serum levels of cytokine, chemokine, and cleaved caspase markers reveal the inflammatory status in HCV. Based upon the information provided by the changes in biomarkers the clinician can monitor the severity of HCV-induced liver damage. New oral well-tolerated treatment regimens for chronic hepatitis C patients can achieve cure rates of over 90%. Therefore, using the noninvasive biomarkers to monitor the evolution of the liver damage is an effective personalized medicine procedure to establish the severity of liver injury and its repair. Full article
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Article
Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound for Precise Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy in Women with Early Breast Cancer: A Preliminary Study
Diagnostics 2021, 11(11), 2104; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11112104 - 13 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1147
Abstract
Background: Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB), as a common method for axillary staging of early breast cancer, has gradually attracted people’s attention to the false-negative rate and postoperative complications. The aim of the study is to investigate the clinical value of preoperative contrast-enhanced [...] Read more.
Background: Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB), as a common method for axillary staging of early breast cancer, has gradually attracted people’s attention to the false-negative rate and postoperative complications. The aim of the study is to investigate the clinical value of preoperative contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) for intraoperative SLNB in early breast cancer patients. Methods: A total of 201 patients scheduled for SLNB from September 2018 to April 2021 were collected consecutively. Preoperative CEUS was used to identify sentinel lymph nodes (SLN) and lymphatic drainage in breast cancer patients. Results: The SLN identification rate of CEUS was 93.0% (187/201) and four lymphatic drainage patterns were found: single LC to single SLN (70.0%), multiple LCs to single SLN (8.0%), single LC to multiple SLNs (10.2%), and multiple LCs to multiple SLNs (11.8%). The Sen, Spe, PPV, NPV, AUC of CEUS, US and CEUS + US in diagnosis of SLNs were 82.7%, 80.4%, 73.8%, 87.4%, 0.815; 70.7%, 77.7%, 68.0%, 79.8%, 0.742; and 86.7%, 77.7%, 72.2%, 89.7%, 0.822, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference between the diagnostic performance of CEUS and CEUS + US (p = 0.630). Conclusions: CEUS can be used to preoperatively assess the lymphatic drainage patterns and the status of the SLNs in early breast cancer to assist precision intraoperative SLNB. Full article
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Article
Different HCV Exposure Drives Specific miRNA Profile in PBMCs of HIV Patients
Biomedicines 2021, 9(11), 1627; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9111627 - 05 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1287
Abstract
Micro RNAs (miRNAs) are essential players in HIV and HCV infections, as both viruses modulate cellular miRNAs and interact with the miRNA-mediated host response. We aim to analyze the miRNA profile of HIV patients with different exposure to HCV to explore specific signatures [...] Read more.
Micro RNAs (miRNAs) are essential players in HIV and HCV infections, as both viruses modulate cellular miRNAs and interact with the miRNA-mediated host response. We aim to analyze the miRNA profile of HIV patients with different exposure to HCV to explore specific signatures in the miRNA profile of PBMCs for each type of infection. We massively sequenced small RNAs of PBMCs from 117 HIV+ infected patients: 45 HIV+ patients chronically infected with HCV (HIV/HCV+), 36 HIV+ that spontaneously clarified HCV after acute infection (HIV/HCV-) and 36 HIV+ patients without previous HCV infection (HIV). Thirty-two healthy patients were used as healthy controls (HC). Differential expression analysis showed significantly differentially expressed (SDE) miRNAs in HIV/HCV+ (n = 153), HIV/HCV- (n = 169) and HIV (n = 153) patients. We found putative dysregulated pathways, such as infectious-related and PI3K signaling pathways, common in all contrasts. Specifically, putatively targeted genes involved in antifolate resistance (HIV/HV+), cancer-related pathways (HIV/HCV-) and HIF-signaling (HIV) were identified, among others. Our findings revealed that HCV strongly influences the expression profile of PBMCs from HIV patients through the disruption of its miRNome. Thus, different HCV exposure can be identified by specific miRNA signatures in PBMCs. Full article
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Flow Cytometry: A Blessing and a Curse
Biomedicines 2021, 9(11), 1613; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9111613 - 04 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2071
Abstract
Flow cytometry is a laser-based technology generating a scattered and a fluorescent light signal that enables rapid analysis of the size and granularity of a particle or single cell. In addition, it offers the opportunity to phenotypically characterize and collect the cell with [...] Read more.
Flow cytometry is a laser-based technology generating a scattered and a fluorescent light signal that enables rapid analysis of the size and granularity of a particle or single cell. In addition, it offers the opportunity to phenotypically characterize and collect the cell with the use of a variety of fluorescent reagents. These reagents include but are not limited to fluorochrome-conjugated antibodies, fluorescent expressing protein-, viability-, and DNA-binding dyes. Major developments in reagents, electronics, and software within the last 30 years have greatly expanded the ability to combine up to 50 antibodies in one single tube. However, these advances also harbor technical risks and interpretation issues in the identification of certain cell populations which will be summarized in this viewpoint article. It will further provide an overview of different potential applications of flow cytometry in research and its possibilities to be used in the clinic. Full article
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Article
The Intervention and Mechanism of Action for Aloin against Subchronic Aflatoxin B1 Induced Hepatic Injury in Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(21), 11620; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222111620 - 27 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1189
Abstract
As a class of difurancoumarin compounds with similar structures, aflatoxins (AF) are commonly found in the environment, soil, and food crops. AF pose a serious threat to the health of humans, poultry, and livestock. This study aimed to investigate the neuroprotective effect and [...] Read more.
As a class of difurancoumarin compounds with similar structures, aflatoxins (AF) are commonly found in the environment, soil, and food crops. AF pose a serious threat to the health of humans, poultry, and livestock. This study aimed to investigate the neuroprotective effect and detailed mechanism of aloin on hepatic injury induced by subchronic AFB1 in rats. The result showed that aloin could significantly inhibit the decrease in food intake, body weight growth, immune organ index, and serum albumin content caused by long-term AFB1 exposure. Meanwhile, aloin reduced the level of serum liver function and improved renal swelling and pathological changes of liver tissue. Aloin could also inhibit liver lipid peroxidation and improve liver antioxidant capacity. Further investigation revealed that aloin inhibited the activity and expression of hepatic CYP1A2 and CYP3A4 and down-regulated IL-1β expression in subchronic AFB1-induced liver injury rats. The above study demonstrated that aloin played an important role in blocking or delaying the development process of subchronic AFB1-induced hepatotoxicity. Therefore, aloin is considered to have a potential role as a protective agent against AFB1. Full article
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Article
Serous Membrane Detachment with Ultrasonic Homogenizer Improves Engraftment of Fetal Liver to Liver Surface in a Rat Model of Cirrhosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(21), 11589; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222111589 - 27 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1106
Abstract
Liver transplantation is the most effective treatment for end-stage cirrhosis. However, due to serious donor shortages, new treatments to replace liver transplantation are sorely needed. Recent studies have focused on novel therapeutic methods using hepatocytes and induced pluripotent stem cells, we try hard [...] Read more.
Liver transplantation is the most effective treatment for end-stage cirrhosis. However, due to serious donor shortages, new treatments to replace liver transplantation are sorely needed. Recent studies have focused on novel therapeutic methods using hepatocytes and induced pluripotent stem cells, we try hard to develop methods for transplanting these cells to the liver surface. In the present study, we evaluated several methods for their efficiency in the detachment of serous membrane covering the liver surface for transplantation to the liver surface. The liver surface of dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPPIV)-deficient rats in a cirrhosis model was detached by various methods, and then fetal livers from DPPIV-positive rats were transplanted. We found that the engraftment rate and area as well as the liver function were improved in rats undergoing transplantation following serous membrane detachment with an ultrasonic homogenizer, which mimics the Cavitron Ultrasonic Surgical Aspirator® (CUSA), compared with no detachment. Furthermore, the bleeding amount was lower with the ultrasonic homogenizer method than with the needle and electric scalpel methods. These findings provide evidence that transplantation to the liver surface with serous membrane detachment using CUSA might contribute to the development of new treatments for cirrhosis using cells or tissues. Full article
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Article
Smad7 Deficiency in Myeloid Cells Does Not Affect Liver Injury, Inflammation or Fibrosis after Chronic CCl4 Exposure in Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(21), 11575; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222111575 - 27 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1300
Abstract
Myeloid cells play an essential role in the maintenance of liver homeostasis, as well as the initiation and termination of innate and adaptive immune responses. In chronic hepatic inflammation, the production of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) is pivotal for scarring and fibrosis [...] Read more.
Myeloid cells play an essential role in the maintenance of liver homeostasis, as well as the initiation and termination of innate and adaptive immune responses. In chronic hepatic inflammation, the production of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) is pivotal for scarring and fibrosis induction and progression. TGF-β signalling is tightly regulated via the Smad protein family. Smad7 acts as an inhibitor of the TGF-β-signalling pathway, rendering cells that express high levels of it resistant to TGF-β-dependent signal transduction. In hepatocytes, the absence of Smad7 promotes liver fibrosis. Here, we examine whether Smad7 expression in myeloid cells affects the extent of liver inflammation, injury and fibrosis induction during chronic liver inflammation. Using the well-established model of chronic carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-mediated liver injury, we investigated the role of Smad7 in myeloid cells in LysM-Cre Smadfl/fl mice that harbour a myeloid-specific knock-down of Smad7. We found that the chronic application of CCl4 induces severe liver injury, with elevated serum alanine transaminase (ALT)/aspartate transaminase (AST) levels, centrilobular and periportal necrosis and immune-cell infiltration. However, the myeloid-specific knock-down of Smad7 did not influence these and other parameters in the CCl4-treated animals. In summary, our results suggest that, during long-term application of CCl4, Smad7 expression in myeloid cells and its potential effects on the TGF-β-signalling pathway are dispensable for regulating the extent of chronic liver injury and inflammation. Full article
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Article
Tenofovir Hampers the Efficacy of Sorafenib in Prolonging Overall Survival in Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Biomedicines 2021, 9(11), 1539; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9111539 - 26 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 961
Abstract
Sorafenib is a first-line treatment for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). These patients may simultaneously receive anti-hepatitis B treatment if they are viremic. The N-Acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 14 (GALNT14) gene can serve as a biomarker to guide HCC treatments. However, the enzyme [...] Read more.
Sorafenib is a first-line treatment for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). These patients may simultaneously receive anti-hepatitis B treatment if they are viremic. The N-Acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 14 (GALNT14) gene can serve as a biomarker to guide HCC treatments. However, the enzyme substrates of its gene product, GalNAc-T14 (a glycosyltransferase), remained uncharacterized. Here, we conducted a glycoproteome-wide search for GalNAc-T14 substrates using lectin affinity chromatography followed by tandem mass spectrometry. Seventeen novel GalNAc-T14 substrates were identified. A connective map analysis showed that an antiviral drug, tenofovir, was the leading medicinal compound to down-regulate the expression of these substrates. In vitro assays showed that HCC cells were resistant to sorafenib if pretreated by tenofovir but not entecavir. Clinical analysis showed that the concomitant use of tenofovir and sorafenib was a previously unrecognized predictive factor for unfavorable overall survival (hazard ratio = 2.060, 95% confidence interval = [1.256, 3.381], p = 0.004) in a cohort of 181 hepatitis-B-related, sorafenib-treated HCC patients (concomitant tenofovir versus entecavir treatment; p = 0.003). In conclusion, by conducting a glycoproteome-wide search for GalNAc-T14 substrates, we unexpectedly found that tenofovir was a major negative regulator of GalNAc-T14 substrates and an unfavorable anti-hepatitis B drug in HCC patients receiving sorafenib. Full article
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Article
Truncated Milk Fat Globule-EGF-like Factor 8 Ameliorates Liver Fibrosis via Inhibition of Integrin-TGFβ Receptor Interaction
Biomedicines 2021, 9(11), 1529; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9111529 - 24 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1234
Abstract
Milk fat globule-EGF factor 8 (MFG-E8) protein is known as an immunomodulator in various diseases, and we previously demonstrated the anti-fibrotic role of MFG-E8 in liver disease. Here, we present a truncated form of MFG-E8 that provides an advanced therapeutic benefit in treating [...] Read more.
Milk fat globule-EGF factor 8 (MFG-E8) protein is known as an immunomodulator in various diseases, and we previously demonstrated the anti-fibrotic role of MFG-E8 in liver disease. Here, we present a truncated form of MFG-E8 that provides an advanced therapeutic benefit in treating liver fibrosis. The enhanced therapeutic potential of the modified MFG-E8 was demonstrated in various liver fibrosis animal models, and the efficacy was further confirmed in human hepatic stellate cells and a liver spheroid model. In the subsequent analysis, we found that the modified MFG-E8 more efficiently suppressed transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) signaling than the original form of MFG-E8, and it deactivated the proliferation of hepatic stellate cells in the liver disease environment through interfering with the interactions between integrins (αvβ3 & αvβ5) and TGF-βRI. Furthermore, the protein preferentially delivered in the liver after administration, and the safety profiles of the protein were demonstrated in male and female rat models. Therefore, in conclusion, this modified MFG-E8 provides a promising new therapeutic strategy for treating fibrotic diseases. Full article
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Article
Weight Gain after Interferon-Free Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C—Results from the German Hepatitis C-Registry (DHC-R)
Biomedicines 2021, 9(10), 1495; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9101495 - 19 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 822
Abstract
Chronic hepatitis C can be treated very effectively with direct-acting antivirals (DAA) with only minor side effects compared to an interferon-containing treatment regimen. The significance of metabolic comorbidities after HCV cure is not well defined. This study aims to investigate short- and long-term [...] Read more.
Chronic hepatitis C can be treated very effectively with direct-acting antivirals (DAA) with only minor side effects compared to an interferon-containing treatment regimen. The significance of metabolic comorbidities after HCV cure is not well defined. This study aims to investigate short- and long-term weight change of patients receiving interferon-free antiviral treatment for chronic hepatitis C. The German Hepatitis C-registry (DHC-R) is a national multicenter real-world cohort. A total of 5111 patients were followed prospectively after DAA treatment for up to 3 years. Weight change compared to baseline was analyzed at end of treatment and at years 1, 2, and 3 after completion of antiviral therapy. Regression analysis was performed to identify baseline predictors for weight change. While there was no relevant mean weight change (−0.2 kg, SD 4.3 kg) at the end of antiviral treatment, weight started to increase during long-term follow-up reaching +1.7 kg (SD 8.0 kg, p < 0.001) compared to baseline at 3 years (follow-up year 3, FU3) after completion of antiviral therapy. 48%, 31%, and 22% of patients had a weight gain greater than 1, 3, and 5 kg at FU3, respectively. During follow-up, a body mass index (BMI) <30 proved to be the only consistent predictor for weight gain. DAA treatment is followed by a substantial weight gain (+3 kg or more) in one-third of the patients during long-term follow-up. Non-obese patients seemed to be most vulnerable to weight gain. The body compartment involved in weight gain as well as the mechanism of weight gain remain to be elucidated. Full article
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Article
Progranulin A Promotes Compensatory Hepatocyte Proliferation via HGF/c-Met Signaling after Partial Hepatectomy in Zebrafish
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(20), 11217; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222011217 - 18 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1356
Abstract
Compensatory hepatocyte proliferation and other liver regenerative processes are activated to sustain normal physiological function after liver injury. A major mitogen for liver regeneration is hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), and a previous study indicated that progranulin could modulate c-met, the receptor for HGF, [...] Read more.
Compensatory hepatocyte proliferation and other liver regenerative processes are activated to sustain normal physiological function after liver injury. A major mitogen for liver regeneration is hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), and a previous study indicated that progranulin could modulate c-met, the receptor for HGF, to initiate hepatic outgrowth from hepatoblasts during embryonic development. However, a role for progranulin in compensatory hepatocyte proliferation has not been shown previously. Therefore, this study was undertaken to clarify whether progranulin plays a regulatory role during liver regeneration. To this end, we established a partial hepatectomy regeneration model in adult zebrafish that express a liver-specific fluorescent reporter. Using this model, we found that loss of progranulin A (GrnA) function by intraperitoneal-injection of a Vivo-Morpholino impaired and delayed liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy. Furthermore, transcriptome analysis and confirmatory quantitative real-time PCR suggested that cell cycle progression and cell proliferation was not as active in the morphants as controls, which may have been the result of comparative downregulation of the HGF/c-met axis by 36 h after partial hepatectomy. Finally, liver-specific overexpression of GrnA in transgenic zebrafish caused more abundant cell proliferation after partial hepatectomy compared to wild types. Thus, we conclude that GrnA positively regulates HGF/c-met signaling to promote hepatocyte proliferation during liver regeneration. Full article
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Article
Assessment of Bioavailability after In Vitro Digestion and First Pass Metabolism of Bioactive Peptides from Collagen Hydrolysates
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2021, 43(3), 1592-1605; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb43030113 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1641
Abstract
Collagen hydrolysates (CHs) are composed of bioactive peptides (BAPs), which possess health enhancing properties. There is a knowledge gap regarding the bioavailability of these BAPs that involves intestinal transport and hepatic first pass effects. A simulated gastrointestinal model was used to generate digesta [...] Read more.
Collagen hydrolysates (CHs) are composed of bioactive peptides (BAPs), which possess health enhancing properties. There is a knowledge gap regarding the bioavailability of these BAPs that involves intestinal transport and hepatic first pass effects. A simulated gastrointestinal model was used to generate digesta from two CHs (CH-GL and CH-OPT), which were applied to a novel transwell co-culture of human intestinal epithelium cell line-6 (HIEC-6) and hepatic (HepG2) cells to simulate in vivo conditions of absorption and first pass metabolism. Peptide transport, hepatic first pass effects, and bioavailability were determined by measuring BAPs (Gly-Pro, Hyp-Gly, Ala-Hyp, Pro-Hyp, Gly-Pro-Hyp) using an innovative capillary electrophoresis method. All peptides were transported across the intestinal cell layer to varying degrees with both CHs; however, Gly-Pro-Hyp was transported only with CH-GL, but not CH-OPT. Notable hepatic production was observed for Ala-Hyp with both CH treatments, and for Pro-Hyp and Gly-Pro with CH-GL only. All peptides were bioavailable (>10%), except for Gly-Pro-Hyp after CH-OPT. Overall, a high degree of transport and hepatic first pass effects on CH-derived BAPs were observed. Further research is needed to explore the hepatic mechanisms related to the production of BAPs and the bifunctional effects of the bioavailable BAPs noted in this study. Full article
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Article
The Persistence of Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Hepatocytes Promotes Hepatocellular Carcinoma Progression by Pro-Inflammatory Interluekin-8 Expression
Biomedicines 2021, 9(10), 1446; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9101446 - 11 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1347
Abstract
Background: A large amount of epidemiological evidence indicates that persistent HCV infection is the main risk factor for HCC. We aimed to study the effects of persistent HCV infection on the interaction of the virus and host cell to identify cancer gene profiles. [...] Read more.
Background: A large amount of epidemiological evidence indicates that persistent HCV infection is the main risk factor for HCC. We aimed to study the effects of persistent HCV infection on the interaction of the virus and host cell to identify cancer gene profiles. Methods: Next-generation sequencing (NGS) was used to identify differentially expressed genes between uninfected Huh7.5.1 control cells, short-term HCV (S-HCV), early long-term HCV (eL-HCV), and long-term HCV (L-HCV) infections, which were analyzed using different dynamic bioinformatics and analytic tools. mRNA expression was validated and quantified using q-PCR. One hundred ninety-six serum samples of HCV patients with IFN/RBV treatment were used to study chemokine levels. Results: S-HCV activates an inflammatory response and drives cell death and apoptosis through cell cycle arrest via MAPK signaling. L-HCV promotes cell growth and alters cell adhesion and chemokine signaling via CXCL8-mediated-SRC regulation. A total of 196 serum samples from the HCV and HCV-HCC cohorts demonstrated significantly upregulated pro-inflammatory CXCL8 in non-SVR (persistent HCV infection) patients in the HCV-HCC group. Conclusions: Persistent infection with HCV induced pro-inflammatory CXCL8 and the oncogene SRC, thereby triggering and promoting hepatocarcinogenesis. CXCL8 may be a potential biomarker for monitoring HCV-related HCC progression. Full article
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Article
Gravity-Based Flow Efficient Perfusion Culture System for Spheroids Mimicking Liver Inflammation
Biomedicines 2021, 9(10), 1369; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9101369 - 01 Oct 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1410
Abstract
The spheroid culture system provides an efficient method to emulate organ-specific pathophysiology, overcoming the traditional two-dimensional (2D) cell culture limitations. The intervention of microfluidics in the spheroid culture platform has the potential to enhance the capacity of in vitro microphysiological tissues for disease [...] Read more.
The spheroid culture system provides an efficient method to emulate organ-specific pathophysiology, overcoming the traditional two-dimensional (2D) cell culture limitations. The intervention of microfluidics in the spheroid culture platform has the potential to enhance the capacity of in vitro microphysiological tissues for disease modeling. Conventionally, spheroid culture is carried out in static conditions, making the media nutrient-deficient around the spheroid periphery. The current approach tries to enhance the capacity of the spheroid culture platform by integrating the perfusion channel for dynamic culture conditions. A pro-inflammatory hepatic model was emulated using a coculture of HepG2 cell line, fibroblasts, and endothelial cells for validating the spheroid culture plate with a perfusable channel across the spheroid well. Enhanced proliferation and metabolic capacity of the microphysiological model were observed and further validated by metabolic assays. A comparative analysis of static and dynamic conditions validated the advantage of spheroid culture with dynamic media flow. Hepatic spheroids were found to have improved proliferation in dynamic flow conditions as compared to the static culture platform. The perfusable culture system for spheroids is more physiologically relevant as compared to the static spheroid culture system for disease and drug analysis. Full article
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