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Cell Biochem Biophys. 2014 Mar;68(2):387-96. doi: 10.1007/s12013-013-9719-0.

Capsaicin modulates proliferation, migration, and activation of hepatic stellate cells.

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Laboratório de Pesquisa em Biofísica Celular e Inflamação, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Avenida Ipiranga 6681, prédio 12, bloco C, sala 221, Porto Alegre, RS, CEP 90619-900, Brazil.


Capsaicin, the active component of chili pepper, has been reported to have antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory effects on a variety of cell lines. In the current study, we aimed to investigate the effects of capsaicin during HSC activation and maintenance. Activated and freshly isolated HSCs were treated with capsaicin. Proliferation was measured by incorporation of EdU. Cell cycle arrest and apoptosis were investigated using flow cytometry. The migratory response to chemotactic stimuli was evaluated by a modified Boyden chamber assay. Activation markers and inflammatory cytokines were determined by qPCR, immunocytochemistry, and flow cytometry. Our results show that capsaicin reduces HSC proliferation, migration, and expression of profibrogenic markers of activated and primary mouse HSCs. In conclusion, the present study shows that capsaicin modulates proliferation, migration, and activation of HSC in vitro.

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