Orotic acid-treated hepatocellular carcinoma cells resist steatosis by modification of fatty acid metabolism

Johanna Matilainen, Anne-Mari Mustonen, Kirsi Rilla, Reijo Käkelä, Sanna P. Sihvo, Petteri Nieminen
2020 Lipids in Health and Disease  
Orotic acid (OA) has been intensively utilized to induce fatty liver in rats. Although the capacity of OA to cause steatosis is species-specific, previous in vitro studies indicate that humans could also be susceptible to OA-induced fatty liver. The aim of the present study was to re-elucidate the potential of OA exposure to modulate the cellular mechanisms involved in both non-alcoholic fatty liver disease pathogenesis and cellular protection from lipid accumulation. In addition, alterations
more » ... detailed fatty acid (FA) profiles of cells and culture media were analyzed to assess the significance of lipid metabolism in these phenomena. In our experiments, human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells were exposed to OA. Bacterial endotoxin, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), was used to mimic hepatic inflammation. The lipogenic and inflammatory effects of OA and/or LPS on cells were assessed by labeling cellular lipids with Nile red stain and by performing image quantifications. The expression levels of key enzymes involved in de novo lipogenesis (DNL) and of inflammatory markers related to the disease development were studied by qRT-PCR. FA profiles of cells and culture media were determined from total lipids with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Our data indicate that although OA possibly promotes the first stage of DNL, it does not cause a definite lipogenic transformation in HepG2 cells. Reduced proportions of 16:0, increased stearoyl-Coenzyme A desaturase 1 mRNA expression and relatively high proportions of 16:1n-7 suggest that active delta9-desaturation may limit lipogenesis and the accumulation of toxic 16:0. Inflammatory signaling could be reduced by the increased production of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated FA (PUFA) and the active incorporation of certain FA, including 18:1n-9, into cells. In addition, increased proportions of 20:4n-6 and 22:6n-3, total PUFA and dimethyl acetal 18:0 suggest that OA exposure may cause increased secretion of lipoproteins and extracellular vesicles. The present data suggest that, apart from the transcription-level events reported by previous studies, modifications of FA metabolism may also be involved in the prevention of OA-mediated steatosis. Increased delta9-desaturation and secretion of lipoproteins and extracellular vesicles could offer potential mechanisms for further studies to unravel how OA-treated cells alleviate lipidosis.
doi:10.1186/s12944-020-01243-5 pmid:32284043 fatcat:gpirewvrnzc4zijtpbml4ddw74