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Dig Dis Sci. 2005 Jan;50(1):181-7.

Expression of Fc fragment receptors of immunoglobulin G (Fc gammaRs) in rat hepatic stellate cells.

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  • 1Faculty of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) are now considered the major cell type in the liver mediating the development of liver fibrosis. Recently it was demonstrated that HSCs express membrane proteins involved in antigen presentation. We further evaluate immunological properties of HSCs by examining the expression and function of the Fc fragment of immunoglobulin G (IgG) in HSCs. In this study, we document the presence of mRNAs for three Fc gammaRs in HSCs. Ligand binding assay indicated the existence of Fc gammaRs with different binding affinities on membranes of HSCs. We also documented that the abundance of the three Fc gammaR mRNAs increased upon activation of HSCs in vitro. Moreover, an examination of the biological activities of IgG revealed that exposure to IgG significantly stimulated HSC differentiation and proliferation. Furthermore, we studied the intracellular signaling protein, LcK, in HSCs and regulation of Lck expression and phosphorylation by IgG. Although IgG did not regulate Lck abundance and phosphorylation in HSCs, highly phosphorylated Lck was present in these cells. In conclusion, we provided evidence that HSCs expresses receptors for the Fc fragment of IgG, and IgG regulates HSC differentiation and proliferation. Therefore, immunoglobulin G may play a role in HSC activation.

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