MSP is a negative regulator of inflammation and lipogenesis in ex vivo models of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis

Dipanjan Chanda*, Jieyi Li, Yvonne Oligschläger, Mike L. J. Jeurissen, Tom Houben, Sofie M. A. Walenbergh, Ronit Shiri-Sverdlov, Dietbert Neumann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a metabolic disorder consisting of steatosis and inflammation, is considered the hepatic equivalent of metabolic syndrome and can result in irreversible liver damage. Macrophage-stimulating protein (MSP) is a hepatokine that potentially has a beneficial role in hepatic lipid and glucose metabolism via the activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). In the current study, we investigated the regulatory role of MSP in the development of inflammation and lipid metabolism in various NASH models, both in vitro and ex vivo. We observed that MSP treatment activated the AMPK signaling pathway and inhibited lipopolysaccharide (LPS)- and palmitic acid (PA)- induced gene expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in primary mouse hepatocytes. In addition, MSP treatment resulted in a significant reduction in PA-induced lipid accumulation and inhibited the gene expression of key lipogenic enzymes in HepG2 cells. Upon short hairpin RNA-induced knockdown of RON (the membrane-bound receptor for MSP), the anti-inflammatory and anti-lipogenic effects of MSP were markedly ablated. Finally, to mimic NASH ex vivo, we challenged bone marrow-derived macrophages with oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) in combination with LPS. OxLDL+LPS exposure led to a marked inhibition of AMPK activity and a robust increase in inflammation. MSP treatment significantly reversed these effects by restoring AMPK activity and by suppressing pro-inflammatory cytokine gene expression and secretion under this condition. Taken together, these data suggest that MSP is an effective inhibitor of inflammation and lipid accumulation in the stressed liver, thereby indicating that MSP has a key regulatory role in NASH.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere258
JournalExperimental and Molecular Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016

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