TitleMitochondrial membrane protein mitofusin 2 as a potential therapeutic target for treating free fatty acid-induced hepatic inflammation in dairy cows during early lactation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsDong J, Bobe G, Guan Y, Li G, Zuo R, Shu X, Wang Y, Sun X, Chen X, Li X
JournalJ Dairy Sci
Date Published2020 Jun

Inflammation is critical in the progression from benign hepatic lipidosis to pathological hepatic steatosis. The objective of this study was to examine the potential role of the outer mitochondrial membrane protein mitofusin 2 (MFN2) in the etiology of hepatic steatosis in dairy cows during early lactation. Using a nested case-control design, we compared blood and liver samples from 10 healthy cows and 10 age-matched cows with moderate fatty liver. Cows with moderate fatty liver had high liver triacylglycerols, elevated plasma concentrations of free fatty acids (FFA) and β-hydroxybutyrate, and low concentrations of glucose. Cows with moderate fatty liver had overactivated inflammatory pathways in the liver, as indicated by increased abundance of phosphorylated nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) p65, NLR family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) and caspase-1 inflammasome protein, and elevated plasma concentrations and hepatic mRNA abundance of their molecular targets IL-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α). In the cell culture model, we were able to replicate our findings in cows with moderate fatty liver: 1.2 mM exogenous FFA decreased the abundance of MFN2 and upregulated phosphorylation levels of the inhibitor of NF-κB (IκB) α and NF-κB p65, the IκB kinase β activity, and the abundance of NLRP3, caspase-1, IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α. Whereas MFN2 knockdown potentiated the FFA-induced activation of these inflammatory pathways, overexpression of MFN2 attenuated the detrimental effect of excess exogenous FFA by improving mitochondrial function and decreasing the release of reactive oxygen species, suggesting that MFN2 may be a potential therapeutic target for FFA-induced hepatic inflammation in dairy cows during early lactation.

PubMed ID32278565