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Cenicriviroc suppresses and reverses steatohepatitis by regulating macrophage infiltration and M2 polarization in mice.

Endocrinology 2024 June 13
The inhibition of hepatic macrophage and Kupfer cell recruitment and activation is a potential strategy for treating insulin resistance and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Cenicriviroc (CVC), a dual C-C chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) and CCR5 antagonist, has shown anti-fibrotic activity in murine models of NASH and has been evaluated in clinical trials on patients with NASH. This study investigated the effects of CVC on macrophage infiltration and polarization in a lipotoxic model of NASH. C57BL/6 mice were fed a high-cholesterol, high-fat (CL) diet or a CL diet containing 0.015% CVC (CL+CVC) for 12 weeks. Macrophage recruitment and activation were assayed by immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. CVC supplementation attenuated excessive hepatic lipid accumulation and peroxidation and alleviated glucose intolerance and hyperinsulinemia in the mice that were fed the CL diet. Flow cytometry analysis revealed that compared with the CL group, mice fed the CL+CVC diet had fewer M1-like macrophages, more M2-like macrophages, and fewer T cell counts, indicating that CVC caused an M2-dominant shift of macrophages in the liver. Similarly, CVC decreased lipopolysaccharide-stimulated M1-like macrophage activation, whereas it increased interleukin-4-induced M2-type macrophage polarization in vitro. In addition, CVC attenuated hepatic fibrosis by repressing hepatic stellate cell activation. Lastly, CVC reversed insulin resistance as well as steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis of the liver in mice with pre-existing NASH. In conclusion CVC prevented and reversed hepatic steatosis, insulin resistance, inflammation, and fibrogenesis in the livers of NASH mice via M2 macrophage polarization.

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