Selective Hepatic Cbs Knockout Aggravates Liver Damage, Endothelial Dysfunction and ROS Stress in Mice Fed a Western Diet

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Cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS) is highly expressed in the liver, and deficiencies in Cbs lead to hyperhomocysteinemia (HHCy) and disturbed production of antioxidants such as hydrogen sulfide. We therefore hypothesized that liver-specific Cbs deficient (LiCKO) mice would be particularly susceptible to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD was induced by a high-fat high-cholesterol (HFC) diet; LiCKO and controls were split into eight groups based on genotype (con, LiCKO), diet (normal diet, HFC), and diet duration (12 weeks, 20 weeks). LiCKO mice displayed intermediate to severe HHCy. Plasma H2O2 was increased by HFC, and further aggravated in LiCKO. LiCKO mice fed an HFC diet had heavier livers, increased lipid peroxidation, elevated ALAT, aggravated hepatic steatosis, and inflammation. LiCKO mice showed decreased L-carnitine in the liver, but this did not result in impaired fatty acid oxidation. Moreover, HFC-fed LiCKO mice demonstrated vascular and renal endothelial dysfunction. Liver and endothelial damage correlated significantly with systemic ROS status. In conclusion, this study demonstrates an important role for CBS in the liver in the development of NAFLD, which is most probably mediated through impaired defense against oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7019
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 10-Apr-2023


  • cystathionine-β-synthase
  • high-fat diet
  • hydrogen sulfide
  • hyperhomocysteinemia
  • knockout mice
  • liver damage
  • reactive oxygen species

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