Tumor necrosis factor-alpha directly stimulates the overproduction of hepatic apolipoprotein B100-containing VLDL via impairment of hepatic insulin signaling

Bolin Qin, Richard A Anderson, Khosrow Adeli
American Journal of Physiology. Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 2008, 294 (5): G1120-9
Insulin-resistant states are commonly associated with both increased circulating levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and hepatic overproduction of very low density lipoproteins (VLDL). Here, we provide evidence that increased TNF-alpha can directly stimulate the hepatic assembly and secretion of apolipoprotein B (apoB) 100-containing VLDL(1), using the Syrian golden hamster, an animal model that closely resembles humans in hepatic VLDL-apoB100 metabolism. In vivo TNF-alpha infusion for 4 h in chow-fed hamsters induced whole-body insulin resistance on the basis of euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp studies. Immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting analysis of livers from TNF-alpha-treated hamsters indicated decreased tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor (IR)-beta, IR substrate-1 (Tyr), Akt (Ser(473)), p38, ERK1/2, and JNK but increased serine phosphorylation of IRS-1 (Ser(307)) and Shc. TNF-alpha infusion also significantly increased hepatic production of total circulating apoB100 and VLDL-apoB100 in both fasting and postprandial (fat load) states. Ex vivo experiments, using cultured primary hepatocytes from hamsters, also showed TNF-alpha-induced VLDL-apoB100 oversecretion, an effect that was blocked by TNF receptor 2 antibody. Unexpectedly, TNF-alpha decreased the sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c mass and mRNA levels but significantly increased microsomal triglyceride transfer protein mass and mRNA levels in primary hepatocytes. In summary, these data provide direct evidence that TNF-alpha induces whole-body insulin resistance and impairs hepatic insulin signaling accompanied by overproduction of apoB100-containing VLDL particles, an effect likely mediated via TNF receptor 2.

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