Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP4i) are antidiabetic medications that prevent cleavage of incretin hormones by dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4). DPP4 is ubiquitously expressed, and its hepatic DPP4 expression is upregulated under non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) conditions. We investigated the effect of DPP4i treatment on NASH pathogenesis, as well as its potential underlying molecular mechanisms. Mice were randomly divided into three groups: Group 1, chow-fed mice treated with vehicle for 20 weeks; Group 2, high-fat, high-fructose, and high-cholesterol Amylin liver NASH (AMLN) diet-fed mice treated with vehicle for 20 weeks; Group 3, AMLN diet-fed mice treated with vehicle for the first 10 weeks, followed by the DPP4i teneligliptin (20 mg/kg/day) for additional 10 weeks. DPP4i administration reduced serum liver enzyme and hepatic triglyceride levels and markedly improved hepatic steatosis and fibrosis in the AMLN diet-induced NASH model. In vivo, NASH alleviation significantly correlated with the suppression of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) receptor-mediated apoptosis and downregulated hepatic DPP4 expression. In vitro, DPP4i treatment significantly decreased the markers of TRAIL receptor-mediated lipoapoptosis and suppressed DPP4 expression in palmitate-treated hepatocytes. In conclusion, DPP4i may efficiently attenuate the pathogenesis of AMLN diet-induced NASH in mice by suppressing lipotoxicity-induced apoptosis, possibly by modulating hepatic DPP4 expression.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Sponsorship for this study and teneligliptin was funded by the Handok Inc., Seoul, Republic of Korea [grant number 2017-31-0006]. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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