An ANGPTL4 – ceramide–protein kinase C axis mediates chronic glucocorticoid exposure–induced hepatic steatosis and hypertriglyceridemia in mice

Tzu Chieh Chen, Rebecca A. Lee, Sam L. Tsai, Deepthi Kanamaluru, Nora E. Gray, Nicholas Yiv, Rachel T. Cheang, Jenna H. Tan, Justin Y. Lee, Mark D. Fitch, Marc K. Hellerstein, Jen Chywan Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chronic or excess glucocorticoid exposure causes lipid disorders such as hypertriglyceridemia and hepatic steatosis. Angptl4 (angiopoietin-like 4), a primary target gene of the glucocorticoid receptor in hepatocytes and adipocytes, is required for hypertriglyceridemia and hepatic steatosis induced by the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone. Angptl4 has also been shown to be required for dexamethasone-induced hepatic ceramide production. Here, we further examined the role of ceramide-mediated signaling in hepatic dyslipidemia caused by chronic glucocorticoid exposure. Using a stable isotope-labeling technique, we found that dexamethasone treatment induced the rate of hepatic de novo lipogenesis and triglyceride synthesis. These dexamethasone responses were compromised in Angptl4-null mice (Angptl4/). Treating mice with myriocin, an inhibitor of the rate-controlling enzyme of de novo ceramide synthesis, serine palmitoyltransferase long-chain base subunit 1 (SPTLC1)/SPTLC2, decreased dexamethasone-induced plasma and liver triglyceride levels in WT but not Angptl4/ mice. We noted similar results in mice infected with adeno-associated virus– expressing small hairpin RNAs targeting Sptlc2. Protein phosphatase 2 phosphatase activator (PP2A) and protein kinase C (PKC) are two known downstream effectors of ceramides. We found here that mice treated with an inhibitor of PKC, 2-acetyl-1,3-cyclopentanedione (ACPD), had lower levels of dexamethasone-induced triglyceride accumulation in plasma and liver. However, small hairpin RNA–mediated targeting of the catalytic PP2A subunit (Ppp2ca) had no effect on dexamethasone responses on plasma and liver triglyceride levels. Overall, our results indicate that chronic dexamethasone treatment induces an ANGPTL4 – ceramide–PKC axis that activates hepatic de novo lipogenesis and triglyceride synthesis, resulting in lipid disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9213-9224
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume294
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 7 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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