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The Liesa laboratory identifies a novel mitochondrial redox mechanism determining neutrophilic inflammation in alcoholic hepatitis

    The study, published in Redox Biology, shows that decreased activity of the mitochondrial biliverdin exporter ABCB10 in hepatocytes exacerbates neutrophilic inflammation in alcoholic hepatitis.


    Acute liver failure caused by alcoholic hepatitis (AH) is only effectively treated with liver transplantation. Livers of patients with AH show a unique molecular signature characterized by defective hepatocellular redox metabolism, concurrent to hepatic infiltration of neutrophils that express myeloperoxidase (MPO) and form neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). Exacerbated NET formation and MPO activity contribute to liver damage in mice with AH and predicts poor prognosis in AH patients. The identification of pathways that maladaptively exacerbate neutrophilic activity in liver could inform of novel therapeutic approaches to treat AH. Whether the redox defects of hepatocytes in AH directly exacerbate neutrophilic inflammation and NET formation is unclear. Here we identify that the protein content of the mitochondrial biliverdin exporter ABCB10, which increases hepatocyte-autonomous synthesis of the ROS-scavenger bilirubin, is decreased in livers from humans and mice with AH. Increasing ABCB10 expression selectively in hepatocytes of mice with AH is sufficient to decrease MPO gene expression and histone H3 citrullination, a specific marker of NET formation. These anti-inflammatory effects can be explained by ABCB10 function reducing ROS-mediated actions in liver. Accordingly, ABCB10 gain-of-function selectively increased the mitochondrial GSH/GSSG ratio and decreased hepatic 4-HNE protein adducts, without elevating mitochondrial fat expenditure capacity, nor mitigating steatosis and hepatocyte death. Thus, our study supports that ABCB10 function regulating ROS-mediated actions within surviving hepatocytes mitigates the maladaptive activation of infiltrated neutrophils in AH. Consequently, ABCB10 gain-of-function in human hepatocytes could potentially decrease acute liver failure by decreasing the inflammatory flare caused by excessive neutrophil activity.


    The mitochondrial biliverdin exporter ABCB10 in hepatocytes mitigates neutrophilic inflammation in alcoholic hepatitis
    Vincent Gutierrez, Doyeon Kim-Vasquez, Michael Shum, Qihong Yang, Dante Dikeman, Stan G Louie, Orian S Shirihai, Hidekazu Tsukamoto, Marc Liesa*
    Redox Biology, 2024 Jan 24:70:103052.

    The role of ABCB10 in alcoholic hepatitis determining neutrophilic activity
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