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Oncotarget

Upregulation of miR-181a impairs hepatic glucose and lipid homeostasis.


PMID 29207650

Abstract

The contributions of altered post-transcriptional gene silencing to the development of metabolic disorders remain poorly understood thus far. The objective of this study was to evaluate the roles of miR-181a in the regulation of hepatic glucose and lipid metabolism. MiR-181a is abundantly expressed in the liver, and we found that blood and hepatic miR-181a levels were significantly increased in patients and dairy cows with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as in high-fat diet and ob/ob mice. We determined that sirtuin1 is a target of miR-181a. Moreover, we found that hepatic sirtuin1 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α expression levels are downregulated, and acetylated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α expression levels are upregulated in patients and dairy cows with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as in high-fat diet and ob/ob mice. MiR-181a overexpression inhibits the sirtuin1-peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α pathway, reduces insulin sensitivity, and increases gluconeogenesis and lipid synthesis in dairy cow hepatocytes and HepG2 cells. Conversely, silencing of miR-181a over-activates the sirtuin1-peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α pathway, increases insulin sensitivity and glycogen content, and decreases gluconeogenesis and lipid synthesis in hepatocytes, even under non-esterified fatty acids treatment conditions. Furthermore, miR-181a overexpression or sirtuin1 knockdown in mice increases lipid accumulation and decreases insulin sensitivity and glycogen content in the liver. Taken together, these findings indicate that increased hepatic miR-181a impairs glucose and lipid homeostasis by silencing sirtuin1 in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.