J Hepatol 2013 Sep 9;59(3):563-70. Epub 2013 May 9.
Department of Medicine I, Division: Institute of Cancer Research, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
Background & Aims: Obesity and hepatic steatosis are frequently associated with the development of a non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The mechanisms driving progression of a non-inflamed steatosis to NASH are largely unknown. Here, we investigated whether ingestion of peroxidized lipids, as being present in Western style diet, triggers the development of hepatic inflammation.
Methods: Corn oil containing peroxidized fatty acids was administered to rats by gavage for 6 days. In a separate approach, hepatocytes (HC), endothelial (EC) and Kupffer cells (KC) were isolated from untreated livers, cultured, and incubated with peroxidized linoleic acid (LOOH; linoleic acid (LH) being the main fatty acid in corn oil). Samples obtained from in vivo and in vitro studies were mainly investigated by qRT-PCR and biochemical determinations of lipid peroxidation products.
Results: Rat treatment with peroxidized corn oil resulted in increased hepatic lipid peroxidation, upregulation of nitric oxide synthetase-2 (NOS-2), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), elevation of total nitric oxides, and increase in cd68-, cd163-, TNFα-, and/or COX-2 positive immune cells in the liver. When investigating liver cell types, LOOH elevated the secretion of TNFα, p38MAPK phosphorylation, and mRNA levels of NOS-2, COX-2, and TNFα, mainly in KC. The elevation of gene expression could be abrogated by inhibiting p38MAPK, which indicates that p38MAPK activation is involved in the pro-inflammatory effects of LOOH.
Conclusions: These data show for the first time that ingestion of peroxidized fatty acids carries a considerable pro-inflammatory stimulus into the body which reaches the liver and may trigger the development of hepatic inflammation.