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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Mar 12;393(3):536-41. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.02.050. Epub 2010 Feb 12.

Alpha-lipoic acid inhibits hepatic PAI-1 expression and fibrosis by inhibiting the TGF-beta signaling pathway.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu 700-712, South Korea.


Accumulating evidence suggests that plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1 plays an important role in the development of hepatic fibrosis via its involvement in extracellular matrix remodeling. We previously reported that alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), a naturally occurring thiol antioxidant, prevents hepatic steatosis by inhibiting the expression of sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c. The aim of the present study was to determine whether ALA prevents hepatic PAI-1 expression and fibrosis through the inhibition of multiple TGF-beta-mediated molecular mediators. We investigated whether ALA inhibited the development of hepatic fibrosis in mice following bile duct ligation (BDL), an established animal model of liver fibrosis. We found that ALA markedly inhibited BDL-induced hepatic fibrosis and PAI-1 expression. We also found that ALA attenuated TGF-beta-stimulated PAI-1 mRNA expression, and inhibited PAI-1 promoter activity in liver cells; this effect was mediated by Smads and the JNK and ERK pathways. The results of the present study indicate that ALA inhibits hepatic PAI-1 expression through inhibition of TGF-beta-mediated molecular mediators, including Smad3, AP1, and Sp1, and prevents the development of BDL-induced hepatic fibrosis. These findings suggest that ALA may have a clinical application in preventing the development and progression of hepatic fibrosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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