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E-GEOD-19316 - Hepatic glycosphingolipid deficiency and liver function in mice
Submitted on 4 December 2009, released on 14 May 2010, last updated on 10 June 2011
Recent studies have reported that glycosphingolipids (GSL) might be involved in obesity induced insulin resistance. Those reports suggested that inhibition of GSL biosynthesis in animals ameliorated insulin sensitivity accompanied with improved glycemic control leading to decreased liver steatosis in obese mice. In addition, GSL depletion altered hepatic secretory function. In those studies, ubiquitously acting inhibitors for GSL-biosynthesis have been used to inhibit function of the enzyme Ugcg (UDP-glucose:ceramide glucosyltransferase), catalyzing the first step of the glucosylceramide based GSL-synthesis pathway. In the present study, a genetic approach for GSL deletion in hepatocytes was chosen to achieve full inhibition of GSL synthesis and to prevent possible adverse effects caused by Ugcg-inhibitors. Using the Cre/loxP system under control of the albumin promoter, GSL biosynthesis in hepatocytes and their release into the plasma could be effectively blocked. Deletion of GSL in hepatocytes did not change quantity of bile excretion through the biliary duct. Total bile salt content in bile-, feces- and plasma from mutant mice showed no difference as compared to control animals. Cholesterol concentration in liver-, bile-, feces- and plasma-samples remained unaffected. Lipoprotein concentration in plasma-samples in mutant animals reached similar levels as in their control littermates. No alteration in glucose tolerance after intraperitoneal application of glucose and insulin appeared in mutant animals. A preventive effect of GSL-deficiency on development of liver steatosis after high fat diet feeding could not be observed. Conclusion: The data suggest that GSL in hepatocytes are not essential for sterol, glucose and lipoprotein metabolism and do not prevent high fat diet-induced liver steatosis, indicating that Ugcg inhibitors exert their effect on hepatocytes either independently of GSL or mediated by other (liver) cell types. Comparison of wildtype mouse liver function versus Ugcg-deficient
transcription profiling by array
Carsten Sticht, Hermann-Josef Gröne, Johannes M Aerts, Karen Ghauharali, Richard Jennemann, Roger Sandhoff, Ruud Out, Shijun Wang, Sylvia Kaden, Theo J van Berkel, Ulrike Rothermel