Mechanisms of resistance of hepatocyte retinoid X receptor α-null mice to WY-14,643-induced hepatocyte proliferation and cholestasis

Maxwell Afari Gyamfi, Yu-Jui Yvonne Wan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Peroxisome proliferators, such as the lipid-lowering fibrates that function as agonists for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα), induce liver tumors in rodents and may produce cholestasis in humans. Considerable attention has focused on peroxisome proliferator-induced hepatocellular carcinoma, a phenomenon not noted in man, whereas limited studies examine fibrates and other therapeutic drugs that induce cholestasis, a common finding in humans. Moreover, the mechanisms by which fibrates induce hepatocyte proliferation and cholestasis are still not fully understood. We have examined the role of hepatocyte retinoid X receptor α (RXRα), an essential partner of PPARα, in modulating WY-14,643-induced hepatocyte proliferation and cholestasis. WY-14,643 treatment induced hepatomegaly in wild type (WT) mice that was also accompanied by induction of the expression of cyclins D1, D3, A2, and B1 and Cdc2 as well as inhibition of Wee 1. Such changes were either absent or greatly reduced in hepatocyte RXRα-null mice. Furthermore, neither WY-14,643 treatment nor RXRα deficiency affected apoptosis, indicating the importance of PPARα/RXRα in regulating Wee 1-mediated Cdc2/ cyclin B1 expression for cells to enter into mitosis. WY-14,643 treatment also induced cholestasis and liver injury, which is evidenced by induction of alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and hepatic bile acid levels in WT mice. Hepatocyte RXRα deficiency protected the mice from WY-14,643-induced liver injury. WY-14,643-mediated induction of the small heterodimer partner, Mrp3, and Cyp3a11 levels was greater in hepatocyte RXRα-null than in WT mouse livers suggesting enhanced repression of bile acid synthesis and increased efflux of bile acids into blood for renal excretion as well as hydroxylation of bile acids because of hepatocyte RXRα deficiency. These data establish a crucial role of hepatocyte RXRα in regulating WY-14,643-mediated cell cycle progression as well as bile acid homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9321-9330
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 3 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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