Butyric Acid Added Apically to Intestinal Caco-2 Cells Elevates Hepatic ApoA-I Transcription and Rescues Lower ApoA-I Expression in Inflamed HepG2 Cells Co-Cultured in the Basolateral Compartment

J.Z. Tayyeb, H.E. Popeijus*, R.P. Mensink, J. Plat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Web of Science)


Apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I) concentrations are decreased during inflammation, which may reduce high-density lipoprotein (HDL) functionality. Thus, rescuing ApoA-I concentrations during inflammation might help to prevent atherosclerosis. Recent studies have shown that butyric acid (C4) has anti-inflammatory effects and rescues ApoA-I production. However, whether intestinal short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are able to influence hepatic processes is unknown. Therefore, we investigated C4 anti-inflammatory effects on ApoA-I transcription in the intestine-liver co-culture model. C4 dose-response experiments in the presence or absence of cytokines were performed in a co-culture system including Caco-2 cells, HepG2 cells, or both. Changes in ApoA-I transcription in Caco-2 cells and HepG2 cells were analyzed using qPCR. C4 increased ApoA-I expression in HepG2 cells that cultured alone. When both cells were cultured together, C4 decreased ApoA-I expression in Caco-2 cells and increased ApoA-I expression in HepG2 cells. However, adding C4 to apical Caco-2 cells resulted in a smaller effect in HepG2 cells compared with adding C4 directly to the hepatocytes. Moreover, C4 rescued ApoA-I expression in inflamed HepG2 cells. These findings suggests that intestinal SCFAs can affect hepatic processes. However, the smaller effect in the co-culture experiment indicates cross-talk between intestine and liver.
Original languageEnglish
Article number71
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • apoa-i
  • b
  • mrna
  • nf-&#954
  • scfas
  • transwell
  • B
  • NF-&#954
  • ApoA-I
  • SCFAs
  • mRNA

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