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Lab Invest. 2002 Jun;82(6):767-74.

Effects and regulation of connective tissue growth factor on hepatic stellate cells.

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  • 1Service d'Anatomie Pathologique, Hôpital de Bicêtre, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France. vparadis@teaser.fr


Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is a 38-kd protein involved in several human fibrotic disorders including atherosclerosis and skin and renal fibrosis. Although it has been shown that human and experimental liver fibrosis is associated with CTGF expression through up-regulation of CTGF mRNA by hepatic stellate cells (HSC), the role of CTGF in the liver has not yet been determined. The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of CTGF on rat primary HSC and its regulation in a well-established model of in vitro liver fibrogenesis. Incubation of primary HSC with recombinant CTGF induced a significant migratory (2.3-fold, 50 ng/ml CTGF) and proliferative effect (1.8-fold, 100 ng/ml CTGF). Type I collagen mRNA expression, as assessed by a real-time RT-PCR procedure, was also increased when cells were incubated in the presence of CTGF (2-fold, 50 ng/ml). Transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) strongly stimulated CTGF mRNA expression, a direct mechanism observed in the absence of any intermediate protein synthesis. Furthermore, spontaneous activation of HSC plated on plastic and stimulation by vascular endothelial growth factor, lipid peroxidation products (HNE, MDA), acetaldehyde, and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB significantly up-regulated CTGF mRNA expression in HSC. PDGF-induced CTGF stimulation might be related in part to TGF-beta1 secretion because CTGF mRNA up-regulation observed after PDGF-BB stimulation was abrogated in the presence of neutralizing TGF-beta1 antibody. In conclusion, this study extends the role of CTGF in HSC activation and suggests that CTGF up-regulation might be a central pathway during HSC activation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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