Stahl EC, Delgado ER, Alencastro F, LoPresti ST, Wilkinson PD, Roy N, Haschak MJ, Skillen CD, Monga SP, Duncan AW, Brown BN. Inflammation and Ectopic Fat Deposition in the Aging Murine Liver Is Influenced by CCR2. Am J Pathol. 2019 Dec 13. pii: S0002-9440(19)30853-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2019.10.016. PubMed PMID: 31843499.
Aging is associated with inflammation and metabolic syndrome, which manifests in the liver as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD can range in severity from steatosis to fibrotic steatohepatitis and is a major cause of hepatic morbidity. However, the pathogenesis of NAFLD in naturally aged animals is unclear. Herein, we performed a comprehensive study of lipid content and inflammatory signature of livers in 19-month-old aged female mice. These animals exhibited increased body and liver weight, hepatic triglycerides, and inflammatory gene expression compared with 3-month-old young controls. The aged mice also had a significant increase in F4/80+ hepatic macrophages, which coexpressed CD11b, suggesting a circulating monocyte origin. A global knockout of the receptor for monocyte chemoattractant protein (CCR2) prevented excess steatosis and inflammation in aging livers but did not reduce the number of CD11b+ macrophages, suggesting changes in macrophage accumulation precede or are independent from chemokine (C-C motif) ligand-CCR2 signaling in the development of age-related NAFLD. RNA sequencing further elucidated complex changes in inflammatory and metabolic gene expression in the aging liver. In conclusion, we report a previously unknown accumulation of CD11b+ macrophages in aged livers with robust inflammatory and metabolic transcriptomic changes. A better understanding of the hallmarks of aging in the liver will be crucial in the development of preventive measures and treatments for end-stage liver disease in elderly patients.
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