iRhom2 Deficiency Relieves TNF-α Associated Hepatic Dyslipidemia in Long-Term PM2.5-exposed Mice

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017 Dec 2;493(4):1402-1409. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.09.152. Epub 2017 Sep 28.


Accumulating researches reported that particulate matter (PM2.5) is a risk factor for developing various diseases, including metabolic syndrome. Recently, inactive rhomboid protein 2 (iRhom2) was considered as a necessary modulator for shedding of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in immune cells. TNF-α, a major pro-inflammatory cytokine, was linked to various pathogenesis of diseases, including dyslipidemia. Here, wild type (WT) and iRhom2-knockout (iRhom2-/-) mice were used to investigate the effects of iRhom2 on PM2.5-induced hepatic dyslipidemia. The hepatic histology, inflammatory response, glucose tolerance, serum parameters and gene expressions were analyzed. We found that long-term inhalation of PM2.5 resulted in hepatic steatosis. And a significant up-regulation of iRhom2 in liver tissues was observed, accompanied with elevated TNF-α, TNF-α converting enzyme (TACE), TNFα receptor (TNFR)2 and various inflammatory cytokines expressions. Additionally, PM2.5 treatment caused TG and TC accumulation in serum and liver, probably attributed to changes of genes modulating lipid metabolism. Intriguingly, hepatic injury and dyslipidemia were attenuated by iRhom2-/- in mice with PM2.5 challenge. In vitro, iRhom2-knockdwon reduced TNF-α expressions and its associated inflammatory cytokines in Kupffer cells, implying that liver-resident macrophages played an important role in regulating hepatic inflammation and lipid metabolism in cells treated with PM2.5. The findings indicated that long-term PM2.5 exposure caused hepatic steatosis and dyslipidemia through triggering inflammation, which was, at least partly, dependent on iRhom2/TNF-α pathway in liver-resident macrophages.

Keywords: Dyslipidemia; Liver-resident macrophages; PM2.5; TNF-α; iRhom2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / toxicity
  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Dyslipidemias / etiology*
  • Dyslipidemias / genetics
  • Dyslipidemias / metabolism*
  • Fatty Liver / etiology*
  • Fatty Liver / genetics
  • Fatty Liver / metabolism*
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Kupffer Cells / metabolism
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Particulate Matter / administration & dosage
  • Particulate Matter / toxicity*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Particulate Matter
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • iRhom2 protein, mouse