Reactive oxygen species produced by cytochrome P4502E1 (CYP2E1) are believed to play a role in pathophysiology of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, little is known about the expression, protein content and activity of anti-oxidant enzymes and the role of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), a source of reactive nitrogen species, in NAFLD. In the present study, we evaluate gene expression, protein content and activity of anti-oxidant enzymes, and iNOS, in a CYP2E1 overexpressing model of non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL).
Non-transgenic (nTg) and CYP2E1 transgenic (Tg) mice were fed rodent chow for 8 months. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), liver triglycerides, malondialdehyde and protein carbonyls were measured. Gene expression of NF-E2-related factor (Nrf2), superoxide dismutase-1, -2 (SOD-1,2), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and iNOS were determined. Protein content, activity and nitrosylation of the enzymes were also measured.
Tg mice had greater CYP2E1 activity and histological liver injury. MDA and protein carbonyls were increased, indicating insufficient anti-oxidant response. Gene expression of Nrf2, CAT, GPx, HO-1 and iNOS were significantly increased. Protein content and enzyme activities of most anti-oxidant enzymes were not correspondingly increased. iNOS activity and nitrosylation of CAT and SOD was greater in Tg mice liver.
Hepatocyte-specific CYP2E1 overexpression results in increased oxidative stress and nitrosative stress. Several anti-oxidant enzymes are upregulated. Failure of corresponding increase in total protein and activity of anti-oxidant enzymes suggests modification/degradation, possibly by nitrosylation, due to increased iNOS activity in a CYP2E1 overexpressing NAFL mouse model.