Intracellular Ca2+ signaling and ORAI calcium release-activated calcium modulator 1 are associated with hepatic lipidosis in dairy cattle

Ming Li, Wei Yang, Jianan Wen, Juan J. Loor, Ahmad Aboragah, Jingjing Wang, Shuang Wang, Mingyang Li, Liyun Yu, Xilin Hou, Chuang Xu, Bingbing Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fatty liver is a common metabolic disorder afflicting dairy cows during the periparturient period and is closely associated with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. The onset of ER stress in humans and mice alters hepatic lipid metabolism, but it is unknown if such event contributes to fatty liver in dairy cows soon after parturition. ORAI calcium release-activated calcium modulator 1 (ORAI1) is a key component of the store-operated Ca2+ entry mechanism regulating cellular Ca2+ balance. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of ORAI1 on hepatic lipidosis via ER stress in dairy cows. Liver tissue biopsies were collected from Holstein cows diagnosed as healthy (n = 6) or with hepatic lipidosis (n = 6). Protein and mRNA abundance of ER stress-related targets, lipogenic targets, or the transcription regulator SREBP1 and ORAI1 were greater in cows with lipidosis. In vitro, hepatocytes were isolated from four healthy female calves and used for culture with a 1.2 mM mixture of fatty acids (oleic, linoleic, palmitic, stearic, and palmitoleic acid) for various times (0, 3, 6, 9, or 12 h). As incubation time progressed, increases in concentration of Ca2+ and abundance of protein kinase RNA-like ER kinase (PERK), inositol-requiring protein 1α (IRE1α), and activating transcription factor-6 (ATF6) protein in response to exogenous fatty acids underscored a mechanistic link among Ca2+, fatty acids, and ER stress. In a subsequent study, hepatocytes were transfected with small interfering RNA (siORAI1) or the ORAI1 inhibitor BTP2 for 48 h or 2 h followed by a challenge with the 1.2 mM mixture of fatty acids for 6 h. Compared with control group, silencing or inhibition of ORAI1 led to decreased abundance of fatty acid synthesis (FASN, SREBP1, and ACACA) and ER stress-related proteins in bovine hepatocytes. Overall, data suggested that NEFA through ORAI1 regulate intracellular Ca2+ signaling, induce ER stress, and lead to lipidosis in isolated hepatocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberskab184
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • calf hepatocytes
  • endoplasmic reticulum stress
  • fatty acid synthesis
  • ORAI1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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