Liver inflammation at the time of spinal cord injury enhances intraspinal pathology, liver injury, metabolic syndrome and locomotor deficits

Matthew T. Goodus, Kaitlin E. Carson, Andrew D. Sauerbeck, Priyankar Dey, Anthony N. Alfredo, Phillip G. Popovich, Richard S. Bruno, Dana M. McTigue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current high obesity rates mean that neurological injuries are increasingly sustained on a background of systemic pathology, including liver inflammation, which likely has a negative impact on outcomes. Because obesity involves complex pathology, the effect of hepatic inflammation alone on neurological recovery is unknown. Thus, here we used a gain-of-function model to test if liver inflammation worsens outcome from spinal cord injury (SCI) in rats. Results show liver inflammation concomitant with SCI exacerbated intraspinal pathology and impaired locomotor recovery. Hepatic inflammation also potentiated SCI-induced non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), endotoxemia and insulin resistance. Circulating and cerebrospinal levels of the liver-derived protein Fetuin-A were higher in SCI rats with liver inflammation, and, when microinjected into intact spinal cords, Fetuin-A caused macrophage activation and neuron loss. Thus, liver inflammation functions as a disease modifying factor to impair recovery from SCI, and Fetuin-A is a potential neuropathological mediator. Since SCI alone induces acute liver inflammation, the liver may be a novel clinical target for improving recovery from SCI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113725
JournalExperimental Neurology
Volume342
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • ALT
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Hepatocyte ballooning
  • Iron
  • Kupffer cells
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity
  • TLR4
  • TNF
  • White matter sparing

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