Objective: The regulation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) by bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) represents a recently-discovered and novel mechanism for hepatic injury and fibrosis. Stimulation of HSCs with LPS results in a rapid and marked induction of interleukin (IL)1β, IL6 and tumor necrosis factor α. These events lead to the development of the activated phenotype in the HSCs associated with fibrosis and inflammation in the injured liver. We have previously demonstrated that farnesoid X receptor (FXR) activation increases transcription of rat peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) gene in HSCs. We aimed at evaluating the molecular mechanism of the transcriptional regulation of the PPARγ gene by FXR.
Methods: Real-time PCR, ELISA, transactivations, EMSA and ChIP experiments were performed in HSC-T6 cells, in primary HSCs, in HEK293T cells and in CCl(4)-treated rats.
Results: In vivo and in vitro activation of FXR downregulates cytokines and collagen(α)1 while inducing PPARγ and small heterodimer partner (SHP). NUBIScan analysis of rat PPARγ promoter revealed the presence of a putative FXR response element. Cotransfection with FXR/retinoic acid receptor significantly enhanced chenodeoxycholic acid-induced luciferase activity. EMSA experiments demonstrated that FXR was able to bind to an inverted repeat-1 sequence and ChIP experiments confirmed that FXR is recruited on the PPARγ promoter.
Conclusion: The present study provides a molecular basis for the physiological cross-talk between FXR and PPARγ pathways in HSCs.