The unfolded protein response (UPR) is a complex adaptive signaling pathway activated by the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). ER stress (ERS) triggers a cascade of responses that converge upon C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) to drive inflammation and apoptosis. Herein, we sought to determine whether liver injury and fibrosis after small bowel resection (SBR) were mediated by a maladaptive hepatic ERS/UPR. C57BL/6 mice underwent 50% proximal SBR or sham operation. Markers of liver injury and UPR/ERS pathways were analyzed. These were compared with experimental groups including dietary fat manipulation, tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) treatment, distal SBR, and global CHOP knockout (KO). At 10 wk, proximal SBR had elevated alanine aminotransferase/aspartate aminotransferase (ALT/AST) (P < 0.005) and greater hepatic tumor necrosis factor-a (TNFa) (P = 0.001) and collagen type 1 a1 (COL1A1) (P = 0.02) than shams. SBR livers had increased CHOP and p-eIF2a, but were absent in activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) protein expression. Low-fat diet (LFD), TUDCA, and distal SBR groups had decreased liver enzymes, inflammation, and fibrosis (P < 0.05). Importantly, they demonstrated reversal of hepatic UPR with diminished CHOP and robust ATF4 signal. CHOP KO-SBR had decreased ALT but not AST compared with wild-type (WT)-SBR (P = 0.01, P = 0.12). There were no differences in TNFa and COL1A1 (P = 0.09, P = 0.50). SBR-induced liver injury, fibrosis is associated with a novel hepatic UPR/ERS response characterized by increased CHOP and decreased ATF4. LFD, TUDCA, and ileocecal resection rescued the hepatic phenotype and reversed the UPR pattern. Global CHOP KO only partially attenuated liver injury. This underscores the significance of disruptions to the gut/liver axis after SBR and potentiates targets to mitigate the progression of intestinal failure-associated liver disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G165-G176
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • ER stress
  • intestinal failure-associated liver disease
  • liver injury
  • short gut syndrome
  • unfolded protein response


Dive into the research topics of 'A novel maladaptive unfolded protein response as a mechanism for small bowel resection-induced liver injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this