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Int J Mol Med. 2012 Dec;30(6):1424-30. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2012.1151. Epub 2012 Oct 5.

Differential expression of PTEN in hepatic tissue and hepatic stellate cells during rat liver fibrosis and its reversal.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, The Second Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Hebei Key Laboratory of Gastroenterology, Hebei Institute of Gastroenterology, Shijiazhuang, Hebei 050000, P.R. China.


To evaluate the change in phosphatase and tensin homology deleted on chromosome ten (PTEN) expression in liver fibrogenesis, particularly the reversal of fibrogenic liver tissues, and to investigate the relation with the proliferation and apoptosis of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) in vivo, a rat model of hepatic fibrosis was established by hypodermic injection of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) mixed with olive oil at the concentration of 40% for 5 weeks (2 ml/kg, twice a week). Reversal of fibrosis was achieved with normal feedings for 4 weeks after CCl4 injection for 5 weeks. The expression of PTEN was measured by immunofluorescence, western blot analysis and real-time PCR. Co-expression of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) with PTEN and α-SMA with terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL) were assessed by confocal laser scanning microscopy. The results displayed that the expression of PTEN was reduced with fibrosis in both rat liver tissues and activated HSCs. By contrast, PTEN expression was increased with the reversal of liver fibrosis. Compared to the fibrogenic state, there were increased numbers of apoptotic activated HSCs during reversal of fibrosis. These data suggest that the dynamic expression of PTEN in rat liver tissues is negatively correlated with liver fibrosis and activated HSCs and is positively correlated with reversal of fibrosis and apoptotic activated HSCs. Modulation of PTEN expression may be an effective and novel method for the treatment of liver fibrosis.

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