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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pioglitazone prevents alcohol-induced fatty liver in rats through up-regulation of c-Met.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Treatment of steatosis is important in preventing development of fibrosis in alcoholic liver diseases. This study aimed to examine if pioglitazone, an antidiabetic reagent serving as a ligand of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR gamma), could prevent alcoholic fatty liver. METHODS: Rats fed with an ethanol-containing liquid diet were given the reagent at 10 mg/kg per day intragastrically for 6 weeks. Hepatic genes involved in actions of the reagent were mined by transcriptome analyses, and their changes were confirmed by real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting analyses. The direct effects of pioglitazone on primary-cultured hepatocytes were also assessed in vitro. RESULTS: Pioglitazone significantly attenuated steatosis and lipid peroxidation elicited by chronic ethanol exposure without altering insulin resistance. Mechanisms for improving effects of the reagent appeared to involve restoration of the ethanol-induced down-regulation of c-Met and up-regulation of stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD). Such effects of pioglitazone on the c-Met signaling pathway resulted from its tyrosine phosphorylation and resultant up-regulation of the apolipoprotein B (apoB)- mediated lipid mobilization from hepatocytes through very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) as well as down-regulation of sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP) -1c and SCD levels and a decrease in triglyceride synthesis in the liver. CONCLUSIONS: Pioglitazone activates c-Met and VLDL-dependent lipid retrieval and suppresses triglyceride synthesis and thereby serves as a potentially useful stratagem to attenuate ethanol-induced hepatic steatosis.[1]


  1. Pioglitazone prevents alcohol-induced fatty liver in rats through up-regulation of c-Met. Tomita, K., Azuma, T., Kitamura, N., Nishida, J., Tamiya, G., Oka, A., Inokuchi, S., Nishimura, T., Suematsu, M., Ishii, H. Gastroenterology (2004) [Pubmed]
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