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Dig Dis Sci. 2008 Apr;53(4):1048-53. Epub 2007 Oct 13.

The effect of Ras inhibition on the proliferation, apoptosis and matrix metalloproteases activity in rat hepatic stellate cells.

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Gastroenterology Institute, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Weizmann 6, Tel Aviv, Israel.


In vivo inhibition of Ras by its antagonist farnesylthiosalicylic acid (FTS) prevents and reverses liver fibrosis in a rat model. In this study we showed the in vitro effects of Ras inhibition in a rat hepatic stellate cell line, HSC-T6. The IC(50) of FTS that inhibited PDGF-induced proliferation was 15 microM. FTS, by itself or in combination with PDGF, induced a three- to fivefold increase in the number of apoptotic stellate cells but did not induce apoptosis in cells cultured with TGFbeta1. We observed increased activity of MMP-9 and MMP-2 induced by FTS in combination with PDGF or TGFbeta. FTS, alone or in the presence of PDGF and TGFbeta, reduced collagen I mRNA expression. In conclusion, the in vivo amelioration of liver fibrosis by FTS may be explained by its ability to inhibit hepatic stellate cell proliferation, induce apoptosis and MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity, and decrease collagen I expression.

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