Background/aims: Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is one of the leading causes of cirrhosis and yet efficient therapeutic strategies are lacking. Polyenephosphatidylcholine (PPC), a major component of essential phospholipids, prevented alcoholic liver fibrosis in baboons, but its precise mechanism remains uncertain. We aimed to explore the effects of PPC on ALD using ethanol-fed peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (Ppara)-null mice, showing several similarities to human ALD.
Methods: Male wild-type and Ppara-null mice were pair-fed a Lieber-DeCarli control or 4% ethanol-containing diet with or without PPC (30 mg/kg/day) for 6 months.
Results: PPC significantly ameliorated ethanol-induced hepatocyte damage and hepatitis in Ppara-null mice. These effects were likely a consequence of decreased oxidative stress through down-regulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-generating enzymes, including cytochrome P450 2E1, acyl-CoA oxidase, and NADPH oxidases, in addition to restoration of increases in Toll-like receptor 4 and CD14. PPC also decreased Bax and truncated Bid, thus inhibiting apoptosis. Furthermore, PPC suppressed increases in transforming growth factor-beta1 expression and hepatic stellate cell activation, which retarded hepatic fibrogenesis.
Conclusions: PPC exhibited anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, and anti-fibrotic effects on ALD as a result of inhibition of the overexpression of ROS-generating enzymes. Our results demonstrate detailed molecular mechanisms of the anti-oxidant action of PPC.