Chronic alcohol feeding alters lymph and plasma proteome in a rodent model

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Life Sciences


Chronic alcohol consumption in rodents induces mesenteric collecting lymphatic vessel hyperpermeability, lymph leakage, and consequent immunometabolic dysregulation of the perilymphatic adipose tissue (PLAT). The specific lymphatic components mediating PLAT immunometabolic dysregulation remain to be identified. Specifically, whether alcohol impacts lymph composition is unknown. This study aimed to determine alcohol associated changes in lymph and plasma proteome. Adult male rats were fed a Lieber–DeCarli liquid diet containing 36 % of calories from alcohol for 10 weeks. Time-matched control animals were pair-fed. At sacrifice lymph was collected for 2 h using the lymph-fistula technique and plasma was collected prior to sacrifice. Quantitative discovery-based proteomics identified a total of 703 proteins. An integrative approach combining Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) and an unbiased network analysis using WGCNA (Weighted Gene Co-expression Network Analysis) was used to analyze the proteomics data. IPA results identified significant upregulation of a cluster of apolipoproteins in lymph from alcohol-fed animals compared with pair-fed controls and a downregulation of 34 proteins in the plasma from alcohol-fed animals. WGCNA analysis identified several candidate hub proteins in the lymph that were also significantly differentially expressed in lymph from alcohol-fed animals compared to that of pair-fed controls. WGCNA analysis of plasma identified a module without significant enrichment of differentially expressed proteins. Of the 59 proteins contained within this module, only 2 were significantly differentially expressed in plasma from alcohol-fed rats compared to plasma of pair-fed controls. Future studies will investigate further the functionality of the hub proteins affected by alcohol feeding in both lymph and plasma.

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