Send to

Choose Destination
Lab Invest. 2012 May;92(5):713-23. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.2012.45. Epub 2012 Mar 12.

Caspase-1-mediated regulation of fibrogenesis in diet-induced steatohepatitis.

Author information

Department of Molecular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western University, Cleveland, OH, USA.


Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is typically associated with pro-apoptotic caspase activation. A potential role for pro-inflammatory caspases remains incompletely understood. Our aims were to examine a potential role of caspase-1 in the development of liver damage and fibrosis in NASH. C57BL/6 wild type (WT) developed marked steatohepatitis, activation, fibrosis and increased hepatic caspase-1 and interleukin-1β expression when placed on the methionine- and choline-deficient (MCD) diet. Marked caspase-1 activation was detected in the liver of MCD-fed mice. Hepatocyte and non-parenchymal fractionation of the livers further demonstrated that caspase-1 activation after MCD feeding was mainly localized to non-parenchymal cells. Caspase-1-knockout (Casp1(-/-)) mice on the MCD diet showed marked reduction in mRNA expression of genes involved in inflammation and fibrogenesis (tumor necrosis factor-α was 7.6-fold greater in WT vs Casp1(-/-) MCD-fed mice; F4/80 was 1.5-fold greater in WT vs Casp1(-/-) MCD-fed mice; α-smooth muscle actin was 3.2-fold greater in WT vs Casp1(-/-) MCD-fed mice; collagen 1-α was 7.6-fold greater in WT vs Casp1(-/-) MCD-fed mice; transforming growth factor-β was 2.4-fold greater in WT vs Casp1(-/-) MCD-fed mice; cysteine- and glycine-rich protein 2 was 3.2-fold greater in WT vs Casp1(-/-) MCD-fed mice). Furthermore, Sirius red staining for hepatic collagen deposition was significantly reduced in Casp1(-/-) MCD-fed mice compared with WT MCD-fed animals. However, serum alanine aminotransferase levels, caspase-3 activity and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling-positive cells were similar in Casp1(-/-) and WT mice on the MCD diet. Selective Kupffer cell depletion by clodronate injection markedly suppressed MCD-induced caspase-1 activation and protected mice from fibrogenesis and fibrosis associated with this diet. The conclusion of this study is that it uncovers a novel role for caspase-1 in inflammation and fibrosis during NASH development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication type, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication type

MeSH terms


Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center