NF-κB Regulation of LRH-1 and ABCG5/8 Potentiates Phytosterol Role in the Pathogenesis of Parenteral Nutrition-Associated Cholestasis

Hepatology. 2021 Dec;74(6):3284-3300. doi: 10.1002/hep.32071. Epub 2021 Aug 27.


Background and aims: Chronically administered parenteral nutrition (PN) in patients with intestinal failure carries the risk for developing PN-associated cholestasis (PNAC). We have demonstrated that farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and liver X receptor (LXR), proinflammatory interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), and infused phytosterols are important in murine PNAC pathogenesis. In this study we examined the role of nuclear receptor liver receptor homolog 1 (LRH-1) and phytosterols in PNAC.

Approach and results: In a C57BL/6 PNAC mouse model (dextran sulfate sodium [DSS] pretreatment followed by 14 days of PN; DSS-PN), hepatic nuclear receptor subfamily 5, group A, member 2/LRH-1 mRNA, LRH-1 protein expression, and binding of LRH-1 at the Abcg5/8 and Cyp7a1 promoter was reduced. Interleukin-1 receptor-deficient mice (Il-1r-/- /DSS-PN) were protected from PNAC and had significantly increased hepatic mRNA and protein expression of LRH-1. NF-κB activation and binding to the LRH-1 promoter were increased in DSS-PN PNAC mice and normalized in Il-1r-/- /DSS-PN mice. Knockdown of NF-κB in IL-1β-exposed HepG2 cells increased expression of LRH-1 and ABCG5. Treatment of HepG2 cells and primary mouse hepatocytes with an LRH-1 inverse agonist, ML179, significantly reduced mRNA expression of FXR targets ATP binding cassette subfamily C member 2/multidrug resistance associated protein 2 (ABCC2/MRP2), nuclear receptor subfamily 0, groupB, member 2/small heterodimer partner (NR0B2/SHP), and ATP binding cassette subfamily B member 11/bile salt export pump (ABCB11/BSEP). Co-incubation with phytosterols further reduced expression of these genes. Similar results were obtained by suppressing the LRH-1 targets ABCG5/8 by treatment with small interfering RNA, IL-1β, or LXR antagonist GSK2033. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments in HepG2 cells showed that ATP binding cassette subfamily G member 5/8 (ABCG5/8) suppression by GSK2033 increased the accumulation of phytosterols and reduced binding of FXR to the SHP promoter. Finally, treatment with LRH-1 agonist, dilauroyl phosphatidylcholine (DLPC) protected DSS-PN mice from PNAC.

Conclusions: This study suggests that NF-κB regulation of LRH-1 and downstream genes may affect phytosterol-mediated antagonism of FXR signaling in the pathogenesis of PNAC. LRH-1 could be a potential therapeutic target for PNAC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily G, Member 5 / metabolism*
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily G, Member 8 / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cholestasis / etiology*
  • Cholestasis / metabolism
  • Chromatin Immunoprecipitation
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Parenteral Nutrition / adverse effects*
  • Phytosterols / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism*


  • ABCG5 protein, human
  • ABCG8 protein, human
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily G, Member 5
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily G, Member 8
  • Lipoproteins
  • NF-kappa B
  • NR5A2 protein, human
  • Phytosterols
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear