It is well known that reduced glomerular filtration rate (GFR) leads to an increased risk of dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular mortality. The liver is a central organ for metabolism, but its function in the uremic setting is still poorly characterized. We used human primary hepatocytes isolated from livers of nine donors with normal renal function to investigate perturbations in key metabolic pathways following exposure to uremic (n = 8) or healthy (n = 8) sera, and to serum-free control medium. Both uremic and healthy elicited consistent responses from hepatocytes from multiple donors and compared with serum-free control. However, at physiological insulin concentrations, uremic cells accumulated 56% more intracellular lipids. Also, when comparing uremic with healthy medium after culture, it contained more very-low-density lipoprotein-triglyceride and glucose. These changes were accompanied by decreased phosphorylation of AktS473. mRNA levels of key regulators of gluconeogenesis in uremic sera-treated hepatocytes such as phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase 1 and glucose 6-phosphate were elevated. We also found increased expression of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase mRNA in uremic cells, along with high phosphorylation of downstream p53 and phospholipase C-γ1Y783. Thus our ex vivo data suggest that the uremic hepatocytes rapidly develop a glycogenic and lipogenic condition accompanied by perturbations in a large number of signaling networks.
- human primary hepatocytes
- kidney disease
- insulin signaling
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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