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LECT2 deletion exacerbates liver steatosis and macrophage infiltration in a male mouse model of LPS-mediated NASH.

Endocrinology 2024 May 24
Leukocyte cell-derived chemotaxin 2 (LECT2) is a protein initially isolated as a neutrophil chemotactic factor. We previously found that LECT2 is an obesity-associated hepatokine that senses liver fat and induces skeletal muscle insulin resistance. In addition, hepatocyte-derived LECT2 activates macrophage pro-inflammatory activity by reinforcing the LPS-induced c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling. Based on these findings, we examined the impact of LECT2 deletion on NAFLD/NASH caused by bacterial translocation. We created the bacterial translocation-mediated NAFLD/NASH model using LECT2 knockout mice (LECT2 KO) with 28 times a low-dose LPS injection under high-fat diet feeding conditions. LECT2 deletion exacerbated steatosis and significantly reduced p38 phosphorylation in the liver. In addition, LECT2 deletion increased macrophage infiltration with decreased M1/M2 ratios. LECT2 might contribute to protecting against lipid accumulation and macrophage activation in the liver under pathological conditions, which might be accomplished via p38 phosphorylation. This study provides novel aspects of LECT2 in the bacterial translocation-mediated NAFLD/NASH model.

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