The glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist exendin 4 has a protective role in ischemic injury of lean and steatotic liver by inhibiting cell death and stimulating lipolysis

Nitika A. Gupta*, Vasantha L. Kolachala, Rong Jiang, Carlos Abramowsky, Rene Romero, Nimita Fifadara, Frank Anania, Stuart Knechtle, Allan Kirk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is an increasingly prevalent spectrum of conditions characterized by excess fat deposition within hepatocytes. Affected hepatocytes are known to be highly susceptible to ischemic insults, responding to injury with increased cell death, and commensurate liver dysfunction. Numerous clinical circumstances lead to hepatic ischemia. Mechanistically, specific means of reducing hepatic vulnerability to ischemia are of increasing clinical importance. In this study, we demonstrate that the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist Exendin 4 (Ex4) protects hepatocytes from ischemia reperfusion injury by mitigating necrosis and apoptosis. Importantly, this effect is more pronounced in steatotic livers, with significantly reducing cell death and facilitating the initiation of lipolysis. Ex4 treatment leads to increased lipid droplet fission, and phosphorylation of perilipin and hormone sensitive lipase - all hallmarks of lipolysis. Importantly, the protective effects of Ex4 are seen after a short course of perioperative treatment, potentially making this clinically relevant. Thus, we conclude that Ex4 has a role in protecting lean and fatty livers from ischemic injury. The rapidity of the effect and the clinical availability of Ex4 make this an attractive new therapeutic approach for treating fatty livers at the time of an ischemic insult.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1693-1701
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Volume181
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

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