Hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activation occurs along with decreased Perilipin5 (Plin5) and liver fatty acid-binding protein (L-Fabp) expression and coincident lipid droplet (LD) depletion. Conversely, the activated phenotype is reversible in WT HSCs upon forced expression of Plin5. Here, we asked if L-Fabp expression is required for Plin5-mediated rescue of the quiescent phenotype. Lentiviral Plin5 transduction of passaged L-Fabp-/- HSCs failed to reverse activation markers or restore lipogenic gene expression and LD formation. However, adenoviral L-Fabp infection of lentiviral Plin5 transduced L-Fabp-/- HSCs restored both the quiescent phenotype and LD formation, an effect also mediated by adenoviral intestine-Fabp or adipocyte-Fabp. Expression of exogenous Plin5 in activated WT HSCs induced a transcriptional program of lipogenic gene expression including endogenous L-Fabp, but none of the other FABPs. We further demonstrated that selective, small molecule inhibition of endogenous L-Fabp also eliminated the ability of exogenous Plin5 to rescue LD formation and reverse activation of WT HSCs. This functional coordination of L-Fabp with Plin5 was 5′-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-dependent and was eliminated by AMPK inhibition. Taken together, our results indicate that L-Fabp is required for Plin5 to activate a transcriptional program that restores LD formation and reverses HSC activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-428
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018


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