Diet associated hepatic steatosis sensitizes to Fas mediated liver injury in mice

Ariel E. Feldstein, Ali Canbay, Maria E. Guicciardi, Hajime Higuchi, Steven F. Bronk, Gregory J. Gores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

272 Scopus citations


Background/Aims: Hepatic steatosis sensitizes the liver to injury and inflammation by unclear mechanisms. Because Fas has been linked to liver injury and inflammation, Fas expression and sensitization to Fas signaling was examined in models of hepatic steatosis. Methods: Mice were fed a carbohydrate diet while control animals received standard chow. Sensitization to Fas was examined following administration of Jo2 antibody. For the in vitro experiments, HepG2 cells were incubated with or without a mixture of long chain fatty acids (2:1 oleate:palmitate). Sensitization of the cells to Fas was examined using the CH11 antibody. Results: Mice fed a high caloric diet developed hepatic steatosis, hyperlipidemia, insulin resistance, and hyperleptinemia, all features of the human syndrome. Fas expression in hepatocytes was increased as compared to lean animals and was coupled to cytotoxic signaling. Indeed, hepatocyte apoptosis, liver injury and chemokine generation were all accentuated in obese animals following administration of Jo-2, a Fas agonist. Hep G2 cells cultured in the presence of free fatty acids also developed 'cellular steatosis', upregulated Fas expression and were more sensitive to apoptosis by a Fas agonist. Conclusions: Collectively, these data implicate Fas as a link between obesity associated fatty liver and increased susceptibility to liver damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)978-983
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of hepatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Apoptosis
  • Fas (CD95)
  • Fatty acids
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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