Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) is a key regulator to ameliorate liver injury in cases of acute liver failure (ALF). However, its regulatory mechanisms remain largely undetermined. Endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress) plays an important role in a number of liver diseases. This study aimed to investigate whether PPARα activation inhibit ER stress-induced hepatocyte apoptosis, thereby protecting against ALF. In a murine model of D-galactosamine (D-GalN) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced ALF, Wy-14643 was administered to activate PPARα, and 4-phenylbutyric acid (4-PBA) was administered to attenuate ER stress. PPARα activation ameliorated liver injury, because pre-administration of its specific inducer, Wy-14643, reduced the serum aminotransferase levels and preserved liver architecture compared with that of controls. The protective effect of PPARα activation resulted from the suppression of ER stress-induced hepatocyte apoptosis. Indeed, (1) PPARα activation decreased the expression of glucose-regulated protein 78 (Grp78), Grp94 and C/EBP-homologous protein (CHOP) in vivo; (2) the liver protection by 4-PBA was due to the induction of PPARα expression, because 4-PBA pretreatment promoted up-regulation of PPARα, and inhibition of PPARα by small interfering RNA (siRNA) treatment reversed liver protection and increased hepatocyte apoptosis; (3) in vitro PPARα activation by Wy-14643 decreased the hepatocyte apoptosis induced by severe ER stress, and PPARα inhibition by siRNA treatment decreased the hepatocyte survival induced by mild ER stress. Here, we demonstrated that PPARα activation contributes to liver protection and decreases hepatocyte apoptosis in ALF, particularly through regulating ER stress. Therefore, trageting PPARα could be a potential therapeutic strategy to ameliorate ALF.
- Received September 10, 2015.
- Accepted April 28, 2016.
- © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd
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