The importance of chemokines in alcoholic liver injury has been implicated. The role of the chemokine, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), elevated in patients with alcoholic liver disease is not yet understood. Here, we evaluated the pathophysiological significance of MCP-1 and its receptor, chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 2 (CCR2), in alcoholic liver injury. The Leiber-DeCarli diet containing alcohol or isocaloric control diets were fed to wild-type (WT) and MCP-1-deficient knockout (KO) mice for 6 weeks. In vivo and in vitro assays were performed to study the role of MCP-1 in alcoholic liver injury. MCP-1 was increased in Kupffer cells (KCs) as well as hepatocytes of alcohol-fed mice. Alcohol feeding increased serum alanine aminotransferase in WT and CCR2KO, but not MCP-1KO, mice. Alcohol-induced liver steatosis and triglyceride were attenuated in alcohol-fed MCP-1KO, but high in CCR2KO mice, compared to WT, whereas serum endotoxin was high in alcohol-fed WT and MCP-1KO mice. Expression of liver proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, KC/IL-8, intercellular adhesion molecule 1, and cluster of differentiation 68 was induced in alcohol-fed WT, but inhibited in MCP-1KO, mice independent of nuclear factor kappa light-chain enhancer of activated B cell activation in KCs. Oxidative stress, but not cytochrome P450 2E1, was prevented in chronic alcohol-fed MCP-1KO mice, compared to WT. Increased expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)α and PPARγ was accompanied by nuclear translocation, DNA binding, and induction of fatty acid metabolism genes acyl coenzyme A oxidase and carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A in livers of alcohol-fed MCP-1KO mice, compared to WT controls. In vitro assays uncovered an inhibitory effect of recombinant MCP-1 on PPARα messenger RNA and peroxisome proliferator response element binding in hepatocytes independent of CCR2.
Conclusion: Deficiency of MCP-1 protects mice against alcoholic liver injury, independent of CCR2, by inhibition of proinflammatory cytokines and induction of genes related to fatty acid oxidation, linking chemokines to hepatic lipid metabolism.
Copyright © 2011 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.