Pterostilbene prevents hepatocyte epithelial-mesenchymal transition in fructose-induced liver fibrosis through suppressing miR-34a/Sirt1/p53 and TGF-β1/Smads signalling.Br J Pharmacol. 2019 06; 176(11):1619-1634.BJ
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
Excessive fructose consumption is a risk factor for liver fibrosis. Pterostilbene protects against liver fibrosis. Here, we investigated the potential role and the mechanisms underlying the hepatocyte epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in fructose-induced liver fibrosis and protection by pterostilbene.
Characteristic features of liver fibrosis in 10% fructose-fed rats and EMT in 5 mM fructose-exposed BRL-3A cells with or without pterostilbene and the change of miR-34a/Sirt1/p53 and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1)/Smads signalling were examined. MiR-34a inhibitor, miR-34a minic, or p53 siRNA were used to explore the role of miR-34a/Sirt1/p53 signalling in fructose-induced EMT and the action of pterostilbene.
Pterostilbene prevented fructose-induced liver injury with fibrosis in rats. Fructose caused hepatocyte undergoing EMT, gaining fibroblast-specific protein 1 and vimentin, and losing E-cadherin, effects attenuated by pterostilbene. Moreover, fructose induced miR-34a overexpression in hepatocytes with down-regulated Sirt1, increased p53 and ac-p53, and activated TGF-β1/Smads signalling, whereas these disturbances were suppressed by miR-34a inhibitor. Additionally, miR-34a inhibitor and p53 siRNA prevented TGF-β1-driven hepatocyte EMT under fructose exposure. Pterostilbene down-regulated miR-34a, up-regulated Sirt1, and suppressed p53 activation and TGF-β1/Smads signalling in fructose-stimulated animals and cells but showed no additional effects with miR-34a inhibitor on miR-34a/Sirt1/p53 signalling in fructose-exposed hepatocytes.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS
These results strongly suggest that activation of miR-34a/Sirt1/p53 signalling is required for fructose-induced hepatocyte EMT mediated by TGF-β1/Smads signalling, contributing to liver fibrosis in rats. Pterostilbene exhibits a protective effect against liver fibrosis at least partly through inhibiting miR-34a/Sirt1/p53 signalling activation.