April 14, 2021


Hypothesis: Betaine decreases the pathogenicity of Covid-19.

Susceptibility of Asialoglycoprotein Receptor-Deficient Mice to Lps/Galactosamine Liver Injury and Protection by Betaine Administration

Karuna Rasineni 1,2,Serene M. L. Lee 2,†,Benita L. McVicker 1,2,Natalia A. Osna 1,2,Carol A. Casey 1,2,3 andKusum K. Kharbanda 1,2,3,*

Background: Work from our laboratory has shown that the ethanol-induced increase in apoptotic hepatocellular death is closely related to the impairment in the ability of the asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGP-R) to remove neighboring apoptotic cells. In this study, we assessed the role of ASGP-R in fulminant liver failure and investigated whether prior treatment with betaine (a naturally occurring tertiary amine) is protective. Methods: Lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 50 μg/kg BW) and galactosamine (GalN; 350 mg/kg BW) were injected together to wild-type and ASGP-R-deficient mice that were treated for two weeks prior with or without 2% betaine in drinking water. The mice were sacrificed 1.5, 3, or 4.5 h post-injection, and tissue samples were collected. Results: LPS/GalN injection generate distinct molecular processes, which includes increased production of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), thus causing apoptosis as evident by increased caspase-3 activity. ASGP-R deficient animals showed increased liver caspase activities, serum TNF-α and IL-6 levels, as well as more pronounced liver damage compared with the wild-type control animals after intraperitoneal injection of LPS/GalN. In addition, prior administration of betaine was found to significantly attenuate the LPS/GalN-induced increases in liver injury parameters. Conclusion: Our work underscores the importance of normal functioning of ASGP-R in preventing severe liver damage and signifies a therapeutic role of betaine in prevention of liver injuries from toxin-induced fulminant liver failure.