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Hepatology. 2006 Dec;44(6):1487-501.

Oxidative-stress and IL-6 mediate the fibrogenic effects of [corrected] Kupffer cells on stellate cells.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Liver Diseases, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.

Erratum in

  • Hepatology. 2007 Feb;45(2):546.


The impact of Kupffer cells (KCs) on the hepatic stellate cell (HSC) fibrogenic response was examined in an in vitro coculture model of primary KCs and HSCs. Coculture with KCs induced a more activated phenotype and greater proliferation compared to HSC cultured alone. Similar results were obtained on Matrigel which maintains HSCs quiescent. The effect of KCs on HSC collagen I involved transcriptional regulation, as determined by nuclear in vitro transcription run-on assays, promoter studies, and Northern blot analysis, while stability of the COL1A1 and COL1A2 mRNA were similar. The minimal COL1A1 and COL1A2 promoter regions responsible for the KC effects were localized to the -515 and -378 base pair (bp) regions, respectively. Intracellular and extracellular collagen I protein, H2O2, and IL-6 increased in a time-dependent fashion, especially for HSCs in coculture. Catalase prevented these effects as well as the transactivation of both collagen promoters. The rate of collagen I protein synthesis and intracellular collagen I degradation remained similar but the t(1/2) of the secreted collagen I was lower for HSC in coculture. MMP13, a protease that degrades extracellular collagen I, decreased in the cocultures, while TIMP1, a MMP13 inhibitor, increased; and these effects were prevented by catalase, anti-IL-6, and siRNA-IL-6. Cocultured HSC showed elevated phosphorylation of p38 which when inhibited by catalase, anti-IL-6, and siRNA-IL-6 it blocked TIMP1 upregulation and collagen I accumulation. In conclusion, these results unveil a novel dual mechanism mediated by H2O2 and IL-6 by which KCs may modulate the fibrogenic response in HSCs.

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