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J Biol Chem. 2003 Mar 14;278(11):8988-95. Epub 2003 Jan 7.

Repression of farnesoid X receptor during the acute phase response.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, Metabolism Section, Medical Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California 94121, USA.


The acute phase response is associated with changes in the hepatic expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism. Nuclear hormone receptors that heterodimerize with retinoid X receptor (RXR), such as thyroid receptors, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, and liver X receptors, modulate lipid metabolism. We recently demonstrated that these nuclear hormone receptors are repressed during the acute phase response induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS), consistent with the known decreases in genes that they regulate. In the present study, we show that LPS significantly decreases farnesoid X receptor (FXR) mRNA in mouse liver as early as 8 h after LPS administration, and this decrease was dose-dependent with the half-maximal effect observed at 0.5 microg/100 g of body weight. Gel-shift experiments demonstrated that DNA binding activity to an FXR response element (IR1) is significantly reduced by LPS treatment. Supershift experiments demonstrated that the shifted protein-DNA complex contains FXR and RXR. Furthermore, the expression of FXR target genes, SHP and apoCII, were significantly reduced by LPS (70 and 60%, respectively). Also, LPS decreases hepatic LRH expression in mouse, which may explain the reduced expression of CYP7A1 in the face of SHP repression. In Hep3B human hepatoma cells, both tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin-1 (IL-1) significantly decreased FXR mRNA, whereas IL-6 did not have any effect. TNF and IL-1 also decreased the DNA binding activity to an IR1 response element and the expression of SHP and apoCII. Importantly, TNF and IL-1 almost completely blocked the expression of luciferase activity linked to a FXR response element promoter construct transfected into Hep3B cells. Together with our earlier studies on the repression of RXRs, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, LXRs, thyroid receptors, constitutive androstane receptor, and pregnane X receptor, these results suggest that decreases in nuclear hormone receptors are major contributors to the decreased gene expression that occurs in the negative acute phase response.

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