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World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Jun 14;17(22):2748-73. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i22..

miRNA studies in in vitro and in vivo activated hepatic stellate cells.

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  • 1Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, 31 Biopolis Way, The Nanos #04-01, Singapore 138669, Singapore.



To understand which and how different miRNAs are implicated in the process of hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activation.


We used microarrays to examine the differential expression of miRNAs during in vitro activation of primary HSCs (pHSCs). The transcriptome changes upon stable transfection of rno-miR-146a into an HSC cell line were studied using cDNA microarrays. Selected differentially regulated miRNAs were investigated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction during in vivo HSC activation. The effect of miRNA mimics and inhibitor on the in vitro activation of pHSCs was also evaluated.


We found that 16 miRNAs were upregulated and 26 were downregulated significantly in 10-d in vitro activated pHSCs in comparison to quiescent pHSCs. Overexpression of rno-miR-146a was characterized by marked upregulation of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-3, which is implicated in the regulation of tumor necrosis factor-α activity. Differences in the regulation of selected miRNAs were observed comparing in vitro and in vivo HSC activation. Treatment with miR-26a and 29a mimics, and miR-214 inhibitor during in vitro activation of pHSCs induced significant downregulation of collagen type I transcription.


Our results emphasize the different regulation of miRNAs in in vitro and in vivo activated pHSCs. We also showed that miR-26a, 29a and 214 are involved in the regulation of collagen type I mRNA.


Hepatic stellate cells; Nuclear factor-κB; miR-146a; miRNA

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