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The role of adipose tissue macrophages-derived exosomes on steatohepatitis progression in diet-induced obese mice

Grant number: 19/14999-6
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2019
Effective date (End): October 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - Physiology of Organs and Systems
Principal researcher:Alice Cristina Rodrigues
Grantee:Karina Cunha e Rocha
Supervisor abroad: Jerrold Olefsky
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:18/05426-0 - MicroRNAs as metabolic mediators in the communication among white adipose tissue, liver and skeletal muscle in obese mice, BP.DD


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease and the third leading indication for liver transplantation in the US. Its prevalence is increasing worldwide, generally parallel to the prevalence of obesity. NAFLD is primary characterized by a fatty liver (NAFL) which can progress to steatohepatitis (NASH), characterized by liver cell injury/death and inflammation, possibly advancing through stages of fibrosis to cirrhosis and hepatocellular cancer. The progression from NALF to NASH is not fully understood. Recently, the exosome, a type of extracellular vesicle that plays a central role in cell-to-cell communication, has shown to participate in the pathophysiology of NASH. It has been proposed that hepatocytes-derived exosomes may contribute to NASH progression, once those can act in neighboring hepatocytes or liver nonparenchymal cells. However, no study has so far investigated if exosomes derived from another tissue participate in NASH pathophysiology. Here, we hypothesize that adipose tissue macrophages (ATM)-derived exosomes could play a role in NASH progression. To test our hypothesis, we will use two diet-induced mouse models of NAFLD: standard high-fat diet (HFD) and western diet (WD). Both diets can induce NAFL, however only long-term WD feeding can induce a NASH phenotype. Thus, we will treat HFD fed mice with ATM-derived exosomes from mice fed a WD to investigate if exosomes derived from ATM of NASH mice can induce NASH progression in mice that, normally, are not expected to develop a NASH phenotype. (AU)

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