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Parasit Vectors. 2013 Jul 5;6:199. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-6-199.

Telmisartan, an AT1 receptor blocker and a PPAR gamma activator, alleviates liver fibrosis induced experimentally by Schistosoma mansoni infection.

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Department of Pharmacology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, The British University in Egypt, Suez Desert Road, El Sherouk City, Cairo, Egypt.



Hepatic schistosomiasis is considered to be one of the most prevalent forms of chronic liver disease in the world due to its complication of liver fibrosis. The demonstration of the pro-fibrogenic role of angiotensin (Ang) II in chronic liver disease brought up the idea that anti-Ang II agents may be effective in improving hepatic fibrosis by either blocking Ang II type 1 (AT1) receptors or inhibiting the angiotensin converting enzyme. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors gamma (PPARγ) activation has been also shown to inhibit hepatic stellate cell activation and progression of fibrosis. The present study has aimed at testing the anti-fibrogenic effects of telmisartan; an AT1 receptor blocker and a PPARγ partial agonist, alone or combined with praziquantel (PZQ) on Schistosoma mansoni-induced liver fibrosis in mice.


To achieve the aim of the study, two sets of experiments were performed in which telmisartan was initiated at the 5th (set 1) and the 10th (set 2) weeks post infection to assess drug efficacy in both acute and chronic stages of liver fibrosis, respectively. Schistosoma mansoni-infected mice were randomly divided into the following four groups: infected-control (I), telmisartan-treated (II), PZQ-treated (III), and telmisartan+PZQ-treated (IV). In addition, a normal non-infected group was used for comparison. Parasitological (hepatomesenteric worm load and oogram pattern), histopathological, morphometric, immunohistochemical (hepatic expressions of matrix metalloproteinase-2; MMP-2 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2; TIMP-2), and biochemical (serum transforming growth factor beta 1; TGF-β1 and liver function tests) studies were performed.


Telmisartan failed to improve the parasitological parameters, while it significantly (P<0.05) decreased the mean granuloma diameter, area of fibrosis, and serum TGF-β1. Additionally, telmisartan increased MMP-2 and decreased TIMP-2 hepatic expression. Combined treatment failed to show any additive properties, yet it did not affect the anti-schistosomal activity of PZQ.


These results suggest potential anti-fibrotic effects of telmisartan, an AT1 receptor blocker and a PPARγ partial agonist, in acute and chronic stages of Schistosoma mansoni-induced liver fibrosis in mice.

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