Role of Elevated Intracellular S-Adenosylhomocysteine in the Pathogenesis of Alcohol-Related Liver Disease

Madan Kumar Arumugam, Sharanappa Talawar, Laura Listenberger, Terrence M. Donohue, Natalia A. Osna, Kusum K. Kharbanda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The earliest manifestation of alcohol-related liver disease (ALD) is steatosis, characterized by the accumulation of lipid droplets (LDs) in hepatocytes. Findings from our laboratory have indicated that many pathological changes, including steatosis, correlate with the alcohol-induced hepatocellular increases in S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH). Based on these considerations, we hypothesized that an experimental increase in intracellular SAH alone will result in similar steatotic changes to those seen after alcohol exposure. METHODS: Freshly isolated rat hepatocytes grown on collagen-coated plates were exposed to serum-free medium containing 50 µmol/L oleic acid and varying concentrations of 3-deazaadenosine (DZA) to experimentally elevate intracellular SAH levels. RESULTS: Overnight exposure to DZA treatment dose-dependently increased hepatocellular triglyceride accumulation, which was also evident by morphological visualization of larger-sized LDs. The rise in triglycerides and LDs accompanied increases in mRNA and protein levels of several LD-associated proteins known to regulate LD number and size. Furthermore, DZA treatment caused a decline in the levels of lipases that prevent fat accumulation as well as increased the expression of factors involved in lipogenesis and fatty acid mobilization. Collectively, our results indicate that the elevation of intracellular SAH is sufficient to promote fat accumulation in hepatocytes, which is similar to that seen after alcohol exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number411
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 23 2020


  • 3-deazaadenosine
  • S-adenosylhomocysteine
  • alcohol
  • hepatic steatosis
  • hepatocyte
  • lipases
  • lipid droplets
  • perilipins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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