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Endocrinology. 2018 Nov 1;159(11):3761-3774. doi: 10.1210/en.2018-00669.

Adult-Onset Hepatocyte GH Resistance Promotes NASH in Male Mice, Without Severe Systemic Metabolic Dysfunction.

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Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
Research and Development Division, Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.
Maimonides Institute for Biomedical Research of Cordoba (IMIBIC)/University of Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain.
Experimental Gerontology Section, Translational Gerontology Branch, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland.
Nutritional Interventions Group, Precision Nutrition and Aging, Institute IMDEA Food, Madrid, Spain.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which includes nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), is associated with reduced GH input/signaling, and GH therapy is effective in the reduction/resolution of NAFLD/NASH in selected patient populations. Our laboratory has focused on isolating the direct vs indirect effects of GH in preventing NAFLD/NASH. We reported that chow-fed, adult-onset, hepatocyte-specific, GH receptor knockdown (aHepGHRkd) mice rapidly (within 7 days) develop steatosis associated with increased hepatic de novo lipogenesis (DNL), independent of changes in systemic metabolic function. In this study, we report that 6 months after induction of aHepGHRkd early signs of NASH develop, which include hepatocyte ballooning, inflammation, signs of mild fibrosis, and elevated plasma alanine aminotransferase. These changes occur in the presence of enhanced systemic lipid utilization, without evidence of white adipose tissue lipolysis, indicating that the liver injury that develops after aHepGHRkd is due to hepatocyte-specific loss of GH signaling and not due to secondary defects in systemic metabolic function. Specifically, enhanced hepatic DNL is sustained with age in aHepGHRkd mice, associated with increased hepatic markers of lipid uptake/re-esterification. Because hepatic DNL is a hallmark of NAFLD/NASH, these studies suggest that enhancing hepatocyte GH signaling could represent an effective therapeutic target to reduce DNL and treat NASH.

[Available on 2019-11-01]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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