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Gene Expr. 2017 Feb 10;17(2):115-127. doi: 10.3727/105221616X692991. Epub 2016 Aug 18.

Bile Duct Ligation Induces ATZ Globule Clearance in a Mouse Model of α-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency.

Abstract

α-1 Antitrypsin deficiency (A1ATD) can progress to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma; however, not all patients are susceptible to severe liver disease. In A1ATD, a toxic gain-of-function mutation generates insoluble ATZ "globules" in hepatocytes, overwhelming protein clearance mechanisms. The relationship between bile acids and hepatocytic autophagy is less clear but may involve altered gene expression pathways. Based on previous findings that bile duct ligation (BDL) induces autophagy, we hypothesized that retained bile acids may have hepatoprotective effects in PiZZ transgenic mice, which model A1ATD. We performed BDL and partial BDL (pBDL) in PiZZ mice, followed by analysis of liver tissues. PiZZ liver subjected to BDL showed up to 50% clearance of ATZ globules, with increased expression of autophagy proteins. Analysis of transcription factors revealed significant changes. Surprisingly nuclear TFEB, a master regulator of autophagy, remained unchanged. pBDL confirmed that ATZ globule clearance was induced by localized stimuli rather than diet or systemic effects. Several genes involved in bile metabolism were overexpressed in globule-devoid hepatocytes, compared to globule-containing cells. Retained bile acids led to a dramatic reduction of ATZ globules, with enhanced hepatocyte regeneration and autophagy. These findings support investigation of synthetic bile acids as potential autophagy-enhancing agents.

PMID:
27938510
PMCID:
PMC5296240
DOI:
10.3727/105221616X692991
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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