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Am J Pathol. 2011 Jun;178(6):2690-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2011.02.035.

Adiponectin regulation of stellate cell activation via PPARγ-dependent and -independent mechanisms.

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Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA.


In this study, we elucidated the mechanism by which adiponectin modulates hepatic stellate cell activation and fibrogenesis. Adiponectin-overexpressing transgenic mice receiving thioacetamide were resistant to fibrosis, compared with controls. In contrast, adiponectin-null animals developed severe fibrosis. Expression of collagen α1(I) and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) mRNAs were significantly lower in adiponectin-overexpressing mice, compared with controls. In wild-type stellate cells exposed to a lentivirus encoding adiponectin, expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ), SREBP1c, and CEBPα mRNAs was significantly increased (3.2-, 4.1-, and 2.2-fold, respectively; n = 3; P < 0.05, adiponectin virus versus control), consistent with possible activation of an adipogenic transcriptional program. Troglitazone, a PPARγ agonist, strongly suppressed up-regulation of collagen α1(I) and α-SMA mRNA in stellate cells isolated from wild-type mice; however, stellate cells from adiponectin-null animals failed to respond to troglitazone. Furthermore, in isolated stellate cells in which PPARγ was depleted using an adenovirus-Cre-recombinase system and in which adiponectin was also overexpressed, collagen α1(I) and α-SMA were significantly inhibited. We conclude that the PPARγ effect on stellate cell activation and the fibrogenic cascade appears to be adiponectin-dependent; however, the inhibitory effect of adiponectin on stellate cell activation was not dependent on PPARγ, suggesting the presence of PPARγ-dependent as well as independent pathways in stellate cells.

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