Macrophage Stimulating Protein Enhances Hepatic Inflammation in alpha NASH Model

Jieyi Li, Dipanjan Chanda, Patrick van Gorp, Mike L. J. Jeurissen, Tom Houben, Sofie M. A. Walenbergh, Jacques Debets, Yvonne Oligschläger, Marion J. J. Gijbels, Dietbert Neumann, Ronit Shiri-Sverdlov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a common liver disease characterized by hepatic lipid accumulation (steatosis) and inflammation. Currently, therapeutic options are poor and the long-term burden to society is constantly increasing. Previously, macrophage stimulating protein (MSP)-a serum protein mainly secreted by liver-was shown to inhibit oxidized low-density lipoprotein (OxLDL)/lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-induced inflammation in mouse macrophages. Additionally, MSP could reduce palmitic acid (PA)-induced lipid accumulation and lipogenesis in the HepG2 cell line. Altogether, these data suggest MSP as a suppressor for metabolic inflammation. However, so far the potential of MSP to be used as a treatment for NASH was not investigated. We hypothesized that MSP reduces lipid accumulation and hepatic inflammation. To investigate the effects of MSP in the early stage of NASH, low-density lipoprotein receptor (Ldlr(-/-)) mice were fed either a regular chow or a high fat, high cholesterol (HFC) diet for 7 days. Recombinant MSP or saline (control) was administrated to the mice by utilizing subcutaneously-implanted osmotic mini-pumps for the last 4 days. As expected, mice fed an HFC diet showed increased plasma and hepatic lipid accumulation, as well as enhanced hepatic inflammation, compared with chow-fed controls. Upon MSP administration, the rise in cholesterol and triglyceride levels after an HFC diet remained unaltered. Surprisingly, while hepatic macrophage and neutrophil infiltration was similar between the groups, MSP-treated mice showed increased gene expression of pro-inflammatory and pro-apoptotic mediators in the liver, compared with saline-treated controls. Contrary to our expectations, MSP did not ameliorate NASH. Observed changes in inflammatory gene expression suggest that further research is needed to clarify the long-term effects of MSP.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0163843
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2016

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