Background & Aims: Alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD) is a significant cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality worldwide and with limited therapies. Soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH; Ephx2) is a largely cytosolic enzyme that is highly expressed in the liver and is implicated in hepatic function, but its role in ALD is mostly unexplored. Methods: To decipher the role of hepatic sEH in ALD, we generated mice with liver-specific sEH disruption (Alb-Cre; Ephx2fl/fl). Alb-Cre; Ephx2fl/fl and control (Ephx2fl/fl) mice were subjected to an ethanol challenge using the chronic plus binge model of ALD and hepatic injury, inflammation, and steatosis were evaluated under pair-fed and ethanol-fed states. In addition, we investigated the capacity of pharmacologic inhibition of sEH in the chronic plus binge mouse model. Results: We observed an increase of hepatic sEH in mice upon ethanol consumption, suggesting that dysregulated hepatic sEH expression might be involved in ALD. Alb-Cre; Ephx2fl/fl mice presented efficient deletion of hepatic sEH with corresponding attenuation in sEH activity and alteration in the lipid epoxide/diol ratio. Consistently, hepatic sEH deficiency ameliorated ethanol-induced hepatic injury, inflammation, and steatosis. In addition, targeted metabolomics identified lipid mediators that were impacted significantly by hepatic sEH deficiency. Moreover, hepatic sEH deficiency was associated with a significant attenuation of ethanol-induced hepatic endoplasmic reticulum and oxidative stress. Notably, pharmacologic inhibition of sEH recapitulated the effects of hepatic sEH deficiency and abrogated injury, inflammation, and steatosis caused by ethanol feeding. Conclusions: These findings elucidated a role for sEH in ALD and validated a pharmacologic inhibitor of this enzyme in a preclinical mouse model as a potential therapeutic approach.
- Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease
- Pharmacologic Inhibition
- Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase
ASJC Scopus subject areas