Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Effect of Epidermal Growth Factor Treatment and Polychlorinated Biphenyl Exposure in a Dietary-Exposure Mouse Model of Steatohepatitis.

Authors: Hardesty, Josiah E; Wahlang, Banrida; Prough, Russell A; Head, Kim Z; Wilkey, Daniel; Merchant, Michael; Shi, Hongxue; Jin, Jian; Cave, Matthew C

Published In Environ Health Perspect, (2021 03)

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are signaling disrupting chemicals that exacerbate nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in mice. They are epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors that enhance hepatic inflammation and fibrosis in mice. OBJECTIVES: This study tested the hypothesis that epidermal growth factor (EGF) administration can attenuate PCB-related NASH by increasing hepatic EGFR signaling in a mouse model. METHODS: C57BL/6 male mice were fed a 42% milk fat diet and exposed to Aroclor 1260 () or vehicle for 12 wk. EGF () or vehicle were administered daily for 10 d starting at study week 10. Liver and metabolic phenotyping were performed. The EGF dose was selected based on results of an acute dose-finding study (30 min treatment of EGF at 0.2, 0.02, of via intraperitoneal injection). Hepatic phosphoproteomic analysis was performed using liver tissue from this acute study to understand EGFR's role in liver physiology. RESULTS: Markers of EGFR signaling were higher in EGF-treated mice. -exposed mice had lower hepatic free fatty acids, inflammation, and fibrosis relative to PCB-only exposed mice. EGF-treated mice had higher plasma lipids, with no improvement in hepatic steatosis, and an association with higher LXR target gene expression and de novo lipogenesis. EGF-treated mice showed more severe hyperglycemia associated with lower adiponectin levels and insulin sensitivity. EGF-treated mice had higher hepatic , NRF2, and AhR target gene expression but lower constitutive androstane receptor and farnesoid X receptor target gene expression. The hepatic EGF-sensitive phosphoproteome demonstrated a role for EGFR signaling in liver homeostasis. DISCUSSION: These results validated EGFR inhibition as a causal mode of action for PCB-related hepatic inflammation and fibrosis in a mouse model of NASH. However, observed adverse effects may limit the clinical translation of EGF therapy. More data are required to better understand EGFR's underinvestigated roles in liver and environmental health.

PubMed ID: 33788613 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Epidermal Growth Factor; Liver; Male; Mice; Mice, Inbred C57BL; Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease*/chemically induced; Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease*/drug therapy; Polychlorinated Biphenyls*/toxicity

to Top