The Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Louisville, KY, United States

The Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Louisville, KY, United States
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Guardiola J.J.,University of Louisville | Falkner K.C.,Hepatology and Nutrition | Wheeler B.,Hepatology and Nutrition | McClain C.J.,The Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center | And 3 more authors.
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology | Year: 2016

Background Occupational vinyl chloride (VC) exposures have been associated with toxicant-associated steatohepatitis and liver cancer. Metabolomics has been used to clarify mode of action in drug-induced liver injury but has not been performed following VC exposures. Methods Plasma samples from 17 highly exposed VC workers without liver cancer and 27 unexposed healthy volunteers were obtained for metabolite extraction and GC/MS and LC/MS2 analysis. Following ion identification/quantification, Ingenuity pathway analysis was performed. Results 613 unique named metabolites were identified. Of these, 189 metabolites were increased in the VC exposure group while 94 metabolites were decreased. Random Forest analysis indicated that the metabolite signature could separate the groups with 94% accuracy. VC exposures were associated with increased long chain (including arachidonic acid) and essential (including linoleic acid) fatty acids. Occupational exposure increased lipid peroxidation products including monohydroxy fatty acids (including 13-HODE); fatty acid dicarboxylates; and oxidized arachidonic acid products (including 5,9, and 15-HETE). Carnitine and carnitine esters were decreased, suggesting peroxisomal/mitochondrial dysfunction and alternate modes of lipid oxidation. Differentially regulated metabolites were shown to interact with extracellular-signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), Akt, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and the N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. The top canonical pathways affected by occupational exposure included tRNA charging, nucleotide degradation, amino acid synthesis/degradation and urea cycle. Methionine and homocysteine was increased with decreased cysteine, suggesting altered 1-carbon metabolism. Conclusions Occupational exposure generated a distinct plasma metabolome with markedly altered lipid and amino acid metabolites. ERK1/2, Akt, AMPK, and NMDA were identified as protein targets for vinyl chloride toxicity. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.


Hardesty J.E.,University of Louisville | Wahlang B.,University of Kentucky | Falkner K.C.,Hepatology and Nutrition | Clair H.B.,University of Louisville | And 6 more authors.
Xenobiotica | Year: 2017

1. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent environmental pollutants that disrupt hepatic xenobiotic and intermediary metabolism, leading to metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). 2. Since phenobarbital indirectly activates Constitutive Androstane Receptor (CAR) by antagonizing growth factor binding to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), we hypothesized that PCBs may also diminish EGFR signaling. 3. The effects of the PCB mixture Aroclor 1260 on the protein phosphorylation cascade triggered by EGFR activation were determined in murine (in vitro and in vivo) and human models (in vitro). EGFR tyrosine residue phosphorylation was decreased by PCBs in all models tested. 4. The IC50 values for Aroclor 1260 concentrations that decreased Y1173 phosphorylation of EGFR were similar in murine AML-12 and human HepG2 cells (∼2–4 μg/mL). Both dioxin and non-dioxin-like PCB congeners decreased EGFR phosphorylation in cell culture. 5. PCB treatment reduced phosphorylation of downstream EGFR effectors including Akt and mTOR, as well as other phosphoprotein targets including STAT3 and c-RAF in vivo. 6. PCBs diminish EGFR signaling in human and murine hepatocyte models and may dysregulate critical phosphoprotein regulators of energy metabolism and nutrition, providing a new mechanism of action in environmental diseases. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


Wahlang B.,University of Louisville | Cameron Falkner K.,University of Louisville | Clair H.B.,University of Louisville | Al-Eryani L.,University of Louisville | And 6 more authors.
Toxicological Sciences | Year: 2014

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent environmental toxicants, present in 100% of U.S. adults and dose-dependently associated with obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). PCBs are predicted to interact with receptors previously implicated in xenobiotic/energy metabolism and NAFLD. These receptors include the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), pregnane xenobiotic receptor (PXR), constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), liver-X-receptor (LXRα), and farnesoid-X-receptor (FXR). This study evaluates Aroclor 1260, a PCB mixture with congener composition mimicking that of human adipose tissue, and selected congeners, as potential ligands for these receptors utilizing human hepatoma-derived (HepG2) and primate-derived (COS-1) cell lines, and primary human hepatocytes. Aroclor 1260 (20 μg/ml) activated AhR, and PCB 126, a minor component, was a potent inducer. Aroclor 1260 activated PXR in a simple concentrationdependent manner at concentrations ≥10 μg/ml. Among the congeners tested, PCBs 138, 149, 151, 174, 183, 187, and 196 activated PXR. Aroclor 1260 activated CAR2 and CAR3 variants at lower concentrations and antagonize CAR2 activation by the CAR agonist, CITCO, at higher concentrations (≥20 μg/ml). Additionally, Aroclor 1260 induced CYP2B6 in primary hepatocytes. At subtoxic doses, Aroclor 1260 did not activate LXR or FXR and had no effect on LXR- or FXR-dependent induction by the agonists T0901317 or GW4064, respectively. Aroclor 1260 (20 μg/ml) suppressed PPARα activation by the agonist nafenopin, although none of the congeners tested demonstrated significant inhibition. The results suggest that Aroclor 1260 is a human AhR, PXR and CAR3 agonist, a mixed agonist/antagonist for CAR2, and an antagonist for human PPARα. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology.


Wahlang B.,University of Louisville | Prough R.A.,University of Louisville | Falkner K.C.,University of Louisville | Hardesty J.E.,University of Louisville | And 8 more authors.
Toxicological Sciences | Year: 2016

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are environmental pollutants associated with non-alcoholic-steatohepatitis (NASH), diabetes, and obesity. We previously demonstrated that the PCB mixture, Aroclor 1260, induced steatohepatitis and activated nuclear receptors in a diet-induced obesity mouse model. This study aims to evaluate PCB interactions with the pregnane-xenobiotic receptor (Pxr: Nr1i2) and constitutive androstane receptor (Car: Nr1i3) in NASH. Wild type C57Bl/6 (WT), Pxrf and Car-/- mice were fed the high fat diet (42% milk fat) and exposed to a single dose of Aroclor 1260 (20 mg/kg) in this 12-week study. Metabolic phenotyping and analysis of serum, liver, and adipose was performed. Steatohepatitis was pathologically similar in all Aroclor-exposed groups, while Pxr-/- mice displayed higher basal pro-inflammatory cytokine levels. Pxr repressed Car expression as evident by increased basal Car/Cyp2b10 expression in Pxr-/- mice. Both Pxr-/- and Car-/- mice showed decreased basal respiratory exchange rate (RER) consistent with preferential lipid metabolism. Aroclor increased RER and carbohydrate metabolism, associated with increased light cycle activity in both knockouts, and decreased food consumption in the Car-/- mice. Aroclor exposure improved insulin sensitivity in WT mice but not glucose tolerance. The Aroclor-exposed, Pxr-/- mice displayed increased gluconeogenic gene expression. Lipid-oxidative gene expression was higher in WT and Pxr-/- mice although RER was not changed, suggesting PCB-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction. Therefore, Pxr and Car regulated inflammation, behavior, and energy metabolism in PCB-mediated NASH. Future studies should address the 'off-target' effects of PCBs in steatohepatitis. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology. All rights reserved.


Wahlang B.,University of Louisville | Song M.,University of Louisville | Beier J.I.,University of Louisville | Cameron Falkner K.,University of Louisville | And 8 more authors.
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology | Year: 2014

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent organic pollutants associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in epidemiologic studies. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the hepatic effects of a PCB mixture, Aroclor 1260, whose composition mimics human bioaccumulation patterns, in a mouse model of diet-induced obesity (DIO). Male C57Bl/6J mice were fed control diet or 42% high fat diet (HFD) and exposed to Aroclor 1260 (20. mg/kg or 200. mg/kg in corn oil) for 12. weeks. A glucose tolerance test was performed; plasma/tissues were obtained at necropsy for measurements of adipocytokine levels, histology, and gene expression. Aroclor 1260 exposure was associated with decreased body fat in HFD-fed mice but had no effect on blood glucose/lipid levels. Paradoxically, Aroclor 1260. +. HFD co-exposed mice demonstrated increased hepatic inflammatory foci at both doses while the degree of steatosis did not change. Serum cytokines, ALT levels and hepatic expression of IL-6 and TNFα were increased only at 20. mg/kg, suggesting an inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokine production at the 200. mg/kg exposure. Aroclor 1260 induced hepatic expression of cytochrome P450s including Cyp3a11 (Pregnane-Xenobiotic Receptor target) and Cyp2b10 (constitutive androstane receptor target) but Cyp2b10 inducibility was diminished with HFD-feeding. Cyp1a2 (aryl hydrocarbon Receptor target) was induced only at 200. mg/kg. In summary, Aroclor 1260 worsened hepatic and systemic inflammation in DIO. The results indicated a bimodal response of PCB-diet interactions in the context of inflammation which could potentially be explained by xenobiotic receptor activation. Thus, PCB exposure may be a relevant "second hit" in the transformation of steatosis to steatohepatitis. © 2014.


Wahlang B.,University of Louisville | Falkner K.C.,University of Louisville | Gregory B.,University of Louisville | Ansert D.,University of Louisville | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry | Year: 2013

Background: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent environmental pollutants that are detectable in the serum of all American adults. Amongst PCB congeners, PCB 153 has the highest serum level. PCBs have been dose-dependently associated with obesity, metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in epidemiological studies. Objective: The purpose of this study is to determine mechanisms by which PCB 153 worsens diet-induced obesity and NAFLD in male mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD). Methods: Male C57BL6/J mice were fed either control or 42% milk fat diet for 12 weeks with or without PCB 153 coexposure (50 mg/kg ip ×4). Glucose tolerance test was performed, and plasma and tissues were obtained at necropsy for measurements of adipocytokine levels, histology and gene expression. Results: In control diet-fed mice, addition of PCB 153 had minimal effects on any of the measured parameters. However, PCB 153 treatment in high-fat-fed mice was associated with increased visceral adiposity, hepatic steatosis and plasma adipokines including adiponectin, leptin, resistin and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 levels. Likewise, coexposure reduced expression of hepatic genes implicated in β-oxidation while increasing the expression of genes associated with lipid biosynthesis. Regardless of diet, PCB 153 had no effect on insulin resistance or tumor necrosis factor alpha levels. Conclusion: PCB 153 is an obesogen that exacerbates hepatic steatosis, alters adipocytokines and disrupts normal hepatic lipid metabolism when administered with HFD but not control diet. Because all US adults have been exposed to PCB 153, this particular nutrient-toxicant interaction potentially impacts human obesity/NAFLD. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

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