Abstract 357: Hepatic ERK2 Suppresses Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress, Leading to Protection from Oxidative Stress and Endothelial Dysfunction
Background Insulin signaling comprises 2 major cascades, the IRS/PI3K/Akt and Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathways. Many studies on the tissue-specific effects of the former pathway had been conducted, however, the role of the latter cascade in tissue-specific insulin resistance had not been investigated. High glucose/fatty acid toxicity, inflammation and oxidative stress, all of which are associated with insulin resistance, can activate ERK. Liver plays a central role of metabolism and hepatosteatosis (HST) is associated with vascular diseases. The aim of this study is to elucidate the role of hepatic ERK2 in HST, metabolic remodeling and endothelial dysfunction.
Methods Serum biomarkers of vascular complications in human were compared between subjects with and without HST diagnosed by echography for regular medical checkup. Next, we created liver-specific ERK2 knockout mice (LE2KO) and fed them with a high-fat/high-sucrose diet (HFHSD) for 20 weeks. The histological analysis, the expression of hepatic sarco/endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+-ATPase 2 (SERCA2) and glucose-tolerance/insulin-sensitivity (GT/IS) were tested. Vascular superoxide production and endothelial function were evaluated with dihydroethidium staining and isometric tension measurement of aorta.
Results The presence of HST significantly increased HOMA-IR, an indicator of insulin resistance or atherosclerotic index in human. HFHSD-fed LE2KO revealed a marked exacerbation in HST and metabolic remodeling represented by the impairment of GT/IS, elevated serum free fatty acid and hyperhomocysteinemia without changes in body weight, blood pressure and serum cholesterol/triglyceride levels. In the HFHSD-fed LE2KO, mRNA and protein expressions of hepatic SERCA2 were significantly decreased, which resulted in hepatic ER stress. Induction of vascular superoxide production and remarkable endothelial dysfunction were also observed in them.
Conclusions Hepatic ERK2 revealed the suppression of hepatic ER stress and HST in vivo, which resulted in protection from vascular oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction. HST with hepatic ER stress can be a prominent risk of vascular complications by metabolic remodeling and oxidative stress in obese-related diseases.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.