Elevated S-adenosylhomocysteine induces adipocyte dysfunction to promote alcohol-associated liver steatosis

Madan Kumar Arumugam, Srinivas Chava, Karuna Rasineni, Matthew C. Paal, Terrence M. Donohue, Natalia A. Osna, Kusum K. Kharbanda

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8 Scopus citations


It has been previously shown that chronic ethanol administration-induced increase in adipose tissue lipolysis and reduction in the secretion of protective adipokines collectively contribute to alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD) pathogenesis. Further studies have revealed that increased adipose S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) levels generate methylation defects that promote lipolysis. Here, we hypothesized that increased intracellular SAH alone causes additional related pathological changes in adipose tissue as seen with alcohol administration. To test this, we used 3-deazaadenosine (DZA), which selectively elevates intracellular SAH levels by blocking its hydrolysis. Fully differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes were treated in vitro for 48 h with DZA and analysed for lipolysis, adipokine release and differentiation status. DZA treatment enhanced adipocyte lipolysis, as judged by lower levels of intracellular triglycerides, reduced lipid droplet sizes and higher levels of glycerol and free fatty acids released into the culture medium. These findings coincided with activation of both adipose triglyceride lipase and hormone sensitive lipase. DZA treatment also significantly reduced adipocyte differentiation factors, impaired adiponectin and leptin secretion but increased release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL-6, TNF and MCP-1. Together, our results demonstrate that elevation of intracellular SAH alone by DZA treatment of 3T3-L1 adipocytes induces lipolysis and dysregulates adipokine secretion. Selective elevation of intracellular SAH by DZA treatment mimics ethanol’s effects and induces adipose dysfunction. We conclude that alcohol-induced elevations in adipose SAH levels contribute to the pathogenesis and progression of ALD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14693
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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