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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 17;8(6):e66106. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066106. Print 2013.

The chemokine CCL3 promotes experimental liver fibrosis in mice.

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Medical Department III, University Hospital Aachen, Aachen, Germany.


Liver fibrosis is associated with infiltrating immune cells and activation of hepatic stellate cells. We here aimed to investigate the effects of the CC chemokine CCL3, also known as macrophage inflammatory protein-1α, in two different fibrosis models. To this end, we treated mice either with carbon tetrachloride or with a methionine- and choline-deficient diet to induce fibrosis in CCL3 deficient and wild-type mice. The results show that the protein expression of CCL3 is increased in wild-type mice after chronic liver injury. Deletion of CCL3 exhibited reduced liver fibrosis compared to their wild-type counterparts. We could validate these results by treating the two mouse groups with either carbon tetrachloride or by feeding a methionine- and choline-deficient diet. In these models, lack of CCL3 is functionally associated with reduced stellate cell activation and liver immune cell infiltration. In vitro, we show that CCL3 leads to increased proliferation and migration of hepatic stellate cells. In conclusion, our results define the chemokine CCL3 as a mediator of experimental liver fibrosis. Thus, therapeutic modulation of CCL3 might be a promising target for chronic liver diseases.

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