Knockout of secretin ameliorates biliary and liver phenotypes during alcohol-induced hepatotoxicity. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Alcohol-related liver disease (ALD) is characterized by ductular reaction (DR), liver inflammation, steatosis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. The secretin (Sct)/secretin receptor (SR) axis (expressed only by cholangiocytes) regulates liver phenotypes in cholestasis. We evaluated the role of Sct signaling on ALD phenotypes. METHODS: We used male wild-type and Sct-/- mice fed a control diet (CD) or ethanol (EtOH) for 8 wk. Changes in liver phenotypes were measured in mice, female/male healthy controls, and patients with alcoholic cirrhosis. Since Cyp4a10 and Cyp4a11/22 regulate EtOH liver metabolism, we measured their expression in mouse/human liver. We evaluated: (i) the immunoreactivity of the lipogenesis enzyme elongation of very-long-chain fatty acids 1 (Elovl, mainly expressed by hepatocytes) in mouse/human liver sections by immunostaining; (ii) the expression of miR-125b (that is downregulated in cholestasis by Sct) in mouse liver by qPCR; and (iii) total bile acid (BA) levels in mouse liver by enzymatic assay, and the mRNA expression of genes regulating BA synthesis (cholesterol 7a-hydroxylase, Cyp27a1, 12a-hydroxylase, Cyp8b1, and oxysterol 7a-hydroxylase, Cyp7b11) and transport (bile salt export pump, Bsep, Na+-taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide, NTCP, and the organic solute transporter alpha (OSTa) in mouse liver by qPCR. RESULTS: In EtOH-fed WT mice there was increased biliary and liver damage compared to control mice, but decreased miR-125b expression, phenotypes that were blunted in EtOH-fed Sct-/- mice. The expression of Cyp4a10 increased in cholangiocytes and hepatocytes from EtOH-fed WT compared to control mice but decreased in EtOH-fed Sct-/- mice. There was increased immunoreactivity of Cyp4a11/22 in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis compared to controls. The expression of miR-125b decreased in EtOH-fed WT mice but returned at normal values in EtOH-fed Sct-/- mice. Elovl1 immunoreactivity increased in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis compared to controls. There was no difference in BA levels between WT mice fed CD or EtOH; BA levels decreased in EtOH-fed Sct-/- compared to EtOH-fed WT mice. There was increased expression of Cyp27a1, Cyp8b1, Cyp7b1, Bsep, NTCP and Osta in total liver from EtOH-fed WT compared to control mice, which decreased in EtOH-fed Sct-/- compared to EtOH-fed WT mice. CONCLUSIONS: Targeting Sct/SR signaling may be important for modulating ALD phenotypes.

published proceedings

  • Cell Biosci

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Kyritsi, K., Wu, N., Zhou, T., Carpino, G., Baiocchi, L., Kennedy, L., ... Alpini, G.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Kyritsi, Konstantina||Wu, Nan||Zhou, Tianhao||Carpino, Guido||Baiocchi, Leonardo||Kennedy, Lindsey||Chen, Lixian||Ceci, Ludovica||Meyer, Alison Ann||Barupala, Nipuni||Franchitto, Antonio||Onori, Paolo||Ekser, Burcin||Gaudio, Eugenio||Wu, Chaodong||Marakovits, Corinn||Chakraborty, Sanjukta||Francis, Heather||Glaser, Shannon||Alpini, Gianfranco

publication date

  • January 2023