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Metabolism. 2010 Feb;59(2):215-23. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2009.07.020. Epub 2009 Sep 18.

The role of proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1alpha in the fatty-acid-dependent transcriptional control of interleukin-10 in hepatic cells of rodents.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Campinas, Brazil.


Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is an endogenous factor that restrains hepatic insulin resistance in diet-induced steatosis. Reducing IL-10 expression increases proinflammatory activity in the steatotic liver and worsens insulin resistance. As the transcriptional coactivator proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1alpha (PGC-1alpha) plays a central role in dysfunctional hepatocytic activity in diet-induced steatosis, we hypothesized that at least part of the action of PGC-1alpha could be mediated by reducing the transcription of the IL-10 gene. Here, we used immunoblotting, real-time polymerase chain reaction, immunocytochemistry, and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay to investigate the role of PGC-1alpha in the control of IL-10 expression in hepatic cells. First, we show that, in the intact steatotic liver, the expressions of IL-10 and PGC-1alpha are increased. Inhibiting PGC-1alpha expression by antisense oligonucleotide increases IL-10 expression and reduces the steatotic phenotype. In cultured hepatocytes, the treatment with saturated and unsaturated fatty acids increased IL-10 expression. This was accompanied by increased association of PGC-1alpha with c-Maf and p50-nuclear factor (NF) kappaB, 2 transcription factors known to modulate IL-10 expression. In addition, after fatty acid treatment, PGC-1alpha, c-Maf, and p50-NFkappaB migrate from the cytosol to the nuclei of hepatocytes and bind to the IL-10 promoter region. Inhibiting NFkappaB activation with salicylate reduces IL-10 expression and the association of PGC-1alpha with p50-NFkappaB. Thus, PGC-1alpha emerges as a potential transcriptional regulator of the inflammatory phenomenon taking place in the steatotic liver.

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