: Vitamin D (VD) has been used to prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition of lipotoxicity associated with a defective metabolism and function of this vitamin. Different forms of VD are available and can be used for this scope, but their effects on liver cell lipotoxicity remain unexplored. In this study we compared a natural formulation rich in VD2 (Shiitake Mushroom extract or SM-VD2) with a synthetic formulation containing pure VD3 (SV-VD3) and the bioactive metabolite 1,25(OH)2-D3. These were investigated in chemoprevention mode in human HepaRG liver cells supplemented with oleic and palmitic acid to induce lipotoxicity. All the different forms of VD showed similar efficacy in reducing the levels of lipotoxicity and the changes that lipotoxicity induced on the cellular transcriptome. However, the three forms of VD generated different gene fingerprints suggesting diverse, even if functionally convergent, cytoprotective mechanisms. Main differences were (1) the number of differentially expressed genes (SV-VD3 > 1,25[OH]2-D3 > SM-VD2), (2) their identity that demonstrated significant gene homology between SM-VD2 and 1,25(OH)2-D3, and (3) the number and type of biological functions identified by ingenuity pathway analysis as relevant to liver metabolism and cytoprotection annotations. Immunoblot confirmed a different response of VDR and other VDR-related proteins to natural and synthetic VD formulations, including FXR, PXR, PPARγ/PGC-1α, and CYP3A4 and CYP24A1. In conclusion, different responses of the cellular transcriptome drive the cytoprotective effect of natural and synthetic formulations of VD in the free fatty acid-induced lipotoxicity of human hepatocytes.
Bartolini, Desirée;Zatini, Linda;Migni, Anna;Marcantonini, Giada;Stabile, Anna Maria;Rende, Mario;Galli, Francesco
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