Hepatic immune regulation is associated with the progression from simple steatosis to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, a severe condition of inflamed fatty liver. Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), an intracellular enzyme that mediates the catabolism of L-tryptophan to L-kynurenine, plays an important role in hepatic immune regulation. In the present study, we examined the effects of IDO gene silencing on high-fat diet (HFD)-induced liver inflammation and fibrosis in mice. After being fed a HFD for 26 weeks, the IDO-knockout (KO) mice showed a marked infiltration of inflammatory cells, especially macrophages and T lymphocytes, in the liver. The expression levels of F4/80, IFNγ, IL-1β, and IL-6 mRNA in the liver and the expression levels of F4/80 and TNF-α mRNA in the white adipose tissue were significantly increased in IDO-KO mice, although hepatic steatosis, the accumulation of intrahepatic triglycerides, and the amount of oxidative stress were lower than those in IDO-wild-type mice. IDO-KO mice also developed marked pericellular fibrosis in the liver, accumulated hepatic hydroxyproline, and exhibited increased expression levels of hepatic TGF-β1 mRNA. These findings suggest that IDO-KO renders the mice more susceptible to HFD-induced hepatic inflammation and fibrosis. Therefore, IDO may have a protective effect against hepatic fibrosis, at least in this HFD-induced liver injury model.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)