Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its more advanced form nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are the most common chronic liver diseases in developed countries. Moreover, NAFLD and NASH are considerable risk factors for atherosclerosis, the most frequent vascular pathology in these and other metabolic diseases. Despite this strong connection, current knowledge of the relationship between NAFLD/NASH and atherosclerosis is scarce. Recently, we studied hyperlipidemic Apoe knockout mice with endothelial-specific gain of transient receptor potential canonical 3 channel function (TgESTRPC3/ApoeKO) and found that these animals had increased burden of advanced aortic atherosclerosis (16 wk on high-fat diet) compared with nontransgenic ApoeKO littermate controls (non-Tg/ApoeKO), whereas early lesions (10 wk on high-fat diet) were not different. Here, we report that at the early stage when differences in aortic atherosclerosis are not yet manifest, the livers of TgESTRPC3/ApoeKO mice show steatosis, fibrosis, and altered hepatic enzymes compared with non-Tg/ApoeKO animals. Because differences in liver pathology were noticeable long before differences in atherosclerosis were evident, our studies suggest that TRPC3-related endothelial mechanisms that promote steatohepatitis may also contribute to atherosclerosis progression. In vitro, downregulation of TRPC3 in liver sinusoid endothelial cells reduces their susceptibility to endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced apoptosis, suggesting that a proapoptotic effect of TRPC3 may add to other fibrogenic factors in vivo. These novel findings show a positive association between augmented expression of an endothelial TRPC channel, development of early steatohepatitis, and atherosclerotic burden in a hyperlipidemic mouse model of NAFLD fed conventional Western-type diet.
- TRPC channels
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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