Scientific article
Open access

The GLP-1R agonist liraglutide limits hepatic lipotoxicity and inflammatory response in mice fed a methionine-choline deficient diet

Publication date2020

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common hepatic disorder related to type 2 diabetes (T2D). The disease can evolve towards nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a state of hepatic inflammation and fibrosis. There is presently no drug that effectively improves and/or prevents NAFLD/NASH/fibrosis. GLP-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1Ra) are effective in treating T2D. As with the endogenous gut incretins, GLP-1Ra potentiate glucose-induced insulin secretion. In addition, GLP-1Ra limit food intake and weight gain, additional beneficial properties in the context of obesity/insulin-resistance. Nevertheless, these pleiotropic effects of GLP-1Ra complicate the elucidation of their direct action on the liver. In the present study, we used the classical methionine-choline deficient (MCD) dietary model to investigate the potential direct hepatic actions of the GLP-1Ra liraglutide. A four-week infusion of liraglutide (570µg/kg/day) did not impact body weight, fat accretion or glycemic control in MCD-diet fed mice, confirming the suitability of this model for avoiding confounding factors. Liraglutide treatment did not prevent lipid deposition in the liver of MCD-fed mice but limited the accumulation of C16 and C24-ceramide/sphingomyelin species. In addition, liraglutide treatment alleviated hepatic inflammation (in particular accumulation of M1 pro-inflammatory macrophages) and initiation of fibrosis. Liraglutide also influenced the composition of gut microbiota induced by the MCD-diet. This included recovery of a normal Bacteroides proportion and, among the Erysipelotrichaceae family, a shift between Allobaculum and Turicibacter genera. In conclusion, liraglutide prevents accumulation of C16 and C24-ceramides/sphingomyelins species, inflammation and initiation of fibrosis in MCD-fed mice liver, suggesting beneficial hepatic actions independent of weight loss and global hepatic steatosis.

  • Ceramide
  • Glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonist
  • Methionine-choline deficient diet
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Inflammation
  • Microbiota
Citation (ISO format)
SOMM, Emmanuel et al. The GLP-1R agonist liraglutide limits hepatic lipotoxicity and inflammatory response in mice fed a methionine-choline deficient diet. In: Translational Research, 2020. doi: 10.1016/j.trsl.2020.07.008
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1878-1810

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