Article Publish Status: FREE
Abstract Title:

Withaferin A alleviates fulminant hepatitis by targeting macrophage and NLRP3.

Abstract Source:

Cell Death Dis. 2021 Feb 11 ;12(2):174. Epub 2021 Feb 11. PMID: 33574236

Abstract Author(s):

Yangliu Xia, Ping Wang, Nana Yan, Frank J Gonzalez, Tingting Yan

Article Affiliation:

Yangliu Xia


Fulminant hepatitis (FH) is an incurable clinical syndrome where novel therapeutics are warranted. Withaferin A (WA), isolated from herb Withania Somnifera, is a hepatoprotective agent. Whether and how WA improves D-galactosamine (GalN)/lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced FH is unknown. This study was to evaluate the hepatoprotective role and mechanism of WA in GalN/LPS-induced FH. To determine the preventive and therapeutic effects of WA, wild-type mice were dosed with WA 0.5 h before or 2 h after GalN treatment, followed by LPS 30 min later, and then killed 6 h after LPS treatment. To explore the mechanism of the protective effect, the macrophage scavenger clodronate, autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine, or gene knockout mouse lines NLR family pyrin domain containing 3 (Nlrp3)-null, nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)-null, liver-specific AMP-activated protein kinase (Ampk)a1 knockout (Ampka1) and liver-specific inhibitor of KB kinaseβ (Ikkb) knockout (Ikkb) mice were subjected to GalN/LPS-induced FH. In wild-type mice, WA potently prevented GalN/LPS-induced FH and inhibited hepatic NLRP3 inflammasome activation, and upregulated NRF2 and autophagy signaling. Studies with Nrf2-null, Ampka1, and Ikkbmice demonstrated that the hepatoprotective effect was independent of NRF2, hepatic AMPKα1, and IκκB. Similarly, 3-methyladenine cotreatment failed to abolish the hepatoprotective effect of WA. The hepatoprotective effect of WA against GalN/LPS-induced FH was abolished after macrophage depletion, and partially reduced in Nlrp3-null mice. Consistently, WA alleviated LPS-induced inflammation partially dependent on the presence of NLRP3 in primary macrophage in vitro. Notably, WA potently and therapeutically attenuated GalN/LPS-induced hepatotoxicity. In conclusion, WA improves GalN/LPS-induced hepatotoxicity by targeting macrophage partially dependent on NLRP3 antagonism, whilelargely independent of NRF2 signaling, autophagy induction, and hepatic AMPKα1 and IκκB. These results support the concept of treating FH by pharmacologically targeting macrophage and suggest that WA has the potential to be repurposed for clinically treating FH as an immunoregulator.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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