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Arch Pharm Res. 2010 Mar;33(3):433-42. doi: 10.1007/s12272-010-0313-3. Epub 2010 Mar 30.

Selective inhibition of activated stellate cells and protection from carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury in rats by a new PPARgamma agonist KR62776.

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  • 1Drug Discovery Platform Technology Team, Medicinal Science Division, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology, Daejon, 305-600, Korea.


Activated hepatic stellate cells (HSC) are the primary source of extracellular matrix proteins found in liver fibrosis/cirrhosis patients. Therefore, the prevention of HSC activation is an important strategy for treating severe liver injury. This study examined the effects of KR62776, a new peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) agonist, on the rate of cell proliferation and expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA) in rat hepatic stellate HSC-T6 cells. In addition, its effects on the liver damage induced by carbon tetrachloride were investigated. KR62776 caused the apoptosis of activated HSC-T6 cells with the concomitant decrease in the alpha-smooth muscle actin levels in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. However, KR62776 did not cause the apoptosis of human HepG2 and rat McARH7777 hepatoma cells, suggesting that KR62776 has a specific effect on stellate cells. KR62776 increased the levels of Gadd45, p27, p21 and PPARgamma proteins but decreased the cell cyclerelated proteins, such as cdk2, cyclin B and cyclin D1. These changes were reversed by BADGE, a specific PPARgamma antagonist, indicating that the effects of KR62776 are, at least in part, PPARgamma-dependent. In addition, KR62776 administration showed some protection against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatocellular damage in rats. Overall, these results suggest that KR62776 may have potential in the chemoprevention of liver fibrosis/cirrhosis.

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