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Histol Histopathol. 2009 Jul;24(7):893-900. doi: 10.14670/HH-24.893.

Oxidative stress, isoprostanes and hepatic fibrosis.

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Department of Pathophysiology, Experimental Medicine and Public Health, University of Siena, Italy.


An introduction to oxidative stress enlightening the spreading of interest in lipid peroxidation in the 60's and in the identification of cytotoxic aldehydes originating from it is given. The discovery of F2-isoprostanes as specific markers of oxidative stress is described. Isoprostanes are also agonists of important biological effects. Since a relationship between oxidative stress and collagen hyperproduction has been previously suggested, and since lipid peroxidation products (aldehydes) have been proposed as possible mediators of liver fibrosis, we investigated whether collagen synthesis is induced by F2-isoprostanes, which can possess receptors for signal transduction pathways. In a rat model of carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic fibrosis, plasma isoprostanes were markedly elevated for the entire experimental period and hepatic collagen content was also increased. Moreover, when hepatic stellate cells (HSC) isolated from normal livers were cultured up to activation and then treated with F2-isoprostanes (8-epi-PGF2alpha) in the concentration range found in the in vivo studies (10(-9) to 10(-8) M), a striking increase in DNA synthesis, in cell proliferation and in collagen synthesis was observed. F2-isoprostanes also increased the production of transforming growth factor-beta1 by U937 cells, assumed as a model of Kupffer cells or liver macrophages. The hypothesis that F2-isoprostanes generated by lipid peroxidation in hepatocytes mediate HSC proliferation and collagen hyperproduction, seen in this experimental hepatic fibrosis, was reinforced by the demonstration, by using immunoblot analysis, that isoprostane receptors identical or analogous to those for thromboxane A2 (TxA2r) are present in HSC. Immunocytochemical studies showed the major localization of TxA2r in the perinuclear site and its colocalization with alpha-smooth muscle actin.

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