Activation of the SIRT1/p66shc antiapoptosis pathway via carnosic acid-induced inhibition of miR-34a protects rats against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Cell Death Dis. 2015 ;6:e1833. Epub 2015 Jul 23. PMID: 26203862
Recent studies have demonstrated that miR-34a expression is significantly upregulated and associated with apoptosis in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Carnosic acid (CA) is a novel antioxidant and a potential inhibitor of apoptosis in organ injury, including liver injury. This study aimed to investigate the signaling mechanisms underlying miR-34a expression and the antiapoptotic effect of CA in NAFLD. CA treatment significantly reduced the high-fat diet (HFD)-induced elevations in aminotransferase activity as well as in serum triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels but increased serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and hepatic superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels. Moreover, CA treatment ameliorated the increase in cleaved caspase-3 caused by HFD exposure and completely reversed the HFD-induced decreases in manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) and B-cell lymphoma-extra large expression. CA also counteracted the HFD- or palmitic acid (PA)-induced increases in caspase-3 and caspase-9 activity. Mechanistically, CA reversed the HFD- or PA-induced upregulation of miR-34a, which is the best-characterized regulator of SIRT1. Importantly, the decrease in miR-34a expression was closely associated with the activation of the SIRT1/p66shc pathway, which attenuates hepatocyte apoptosis in liver ischemia/reperfusion injury. A dual luciferase assay in L02 cells validated the modulation of SIRT1 by CA, which occurs at least partly via miR-34a. In addition, miR-34a overexpression was significantly counteracted by CA, which prevented the miR-34a-dependent repression of the SIRT1/p66shc pathway and apoptosis. Collectively, our results support a link between liver cell apoptosis and the miR-34a/SIRT1/p66shc pathway, which can be modulated by CA in NAFLD.