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World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jan 14;12(2):322-6.

Inhibitory effect of angiotensin II receptor antagonist on hepatic stellate cell activation in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.

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  • 1Second Department of Medicine, Asahikawa Medical College, Midorigaoka higashi 2-1-1-1, Asahikawa 078-8510, Japan. yokohama@reha.or.jp



To investigate the efficacy of angiotensin II receptor antagonist on hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) activation in the patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).


Seven patients with NASH were prescribed losartan, a selective angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonist (50 mg/d) for 48 wk. Liver biopsies were performed both at the entry and end of the study in all patients. Quiescent and activated HSCs were identified by double immunostaining using anti-p75 and -smooth muscle actin antibodies, and the number of each phenotype was counted. Similarly, the liver specimens obtained from the eight patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) were also examined as controls.


In NASH hepatic tissues, activated HSCs were dominantly distributed as compared with those in NAFL. The 48-wk losartan treatment induced a remarkable decrease in activated HSCs and a mild increase in quiescent phenotypes.


Our data suggest the crucial involvement of HSCs in anti-fibrotic effect of angiotensin II receptor antagonist on patients with NASH.

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