Hepatol Commun. 2023 Apr 4;7(4):e0089. doi: 10.1097/HC9.0000000000000089. eCollection 2023 Apr
Background: Alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD) is a syndrome of progressive inflammatory liver injury and vascular remodeling associated with long-term heavy intake of ethanol. Elevated miR-34a expression, macrophage activation, and liver angiogenesis in ALD and their correlation with the degree of inflammation and fibrosis have been reported. The current study aims to characterize the functional role of miR-34a-regulated macrophage- associated angiogenesis during ALD. Methods results: We identified that knockout of miR-34a in 5 weeks of ethanol-fed mice significantly decreased the total liver histopathology score and miR-34a expression, along with the inhibited liver inflammation and angiogenesis by reduced macrophage infiltration and CD31/VEGF-A expression. Treatment of murine macrophages (RAW 264.7) with lipopolysaccharide (20 ng/mL) for 24 h significantly increased miR-34a expression, along with the enhanced M1/M2 phenotype changes and reduced Sirt1 expression. Silencing of miR-34a significantly increased oxygen consumption rate (OCR) in ethanol treated macrophages, and decreased lipopolysaccharide-induced activation of M1 phenotypes in cultured macrophages by upregulation of Sirt1. Furthermore, the expressions of miR-34a and its target Sirt1, macrophage polarization, and angiogenic phenotypes were significantly altered in isolated macrophages from ethanol-fed mouse liver specimens compared to controls. TLR4/miR-34a knockout mice and miR-34a Morpho/AS treated mice displayed less sensitivity to alcohol-associated injury, along with the enhanced Sirt1 and M2 markers in isolated macrophages, as well as reduced angiogenesis and hepatic expressions of inflammation markers MPO, LY6G, CXCL1, and CXCL2. Conclusion: Our results show that miR-34a-mediated Sirt1 signaling in macrophages is essential for steatohepatitis and angiogenesis during alcohol-induced liver injury. These findings provide new insight into the function of microRNA-regulated liver inflammation and angiogenesis and the implications for reversing steatohepatitis with potential therapeutic benefits in human alcohol-associated liver diseases.
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