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Korean J Parasitol. 2016 Aug;54(4):519-25. doi: 10.3347/kjp.2016.54.4.519. Epub 2016 Aug 31.

Increased Expression of TGF-β1 in Correlation with Liver Fibrosis during Echinococcus granulosus Infection in Mice.

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State Key Laboratory of Xinjiang Major Diseases Research Incubation Base (2010DS890294) and Xinjiang Key Laboratory of Echinococcosis, First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830011, P. R. China.
College of Basic Medical Sciences of Xinjiang Medical University, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830011, P. R. China.


To investigate the potential role of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 in liver fibrosis during Echinococcus granulosus infection, 96 BALB/c mice were randomly divided into 2 groups, experimental group infected by intraperitoneal injection with a metacestode suspension and control group given sterile physiological saline. The liver and blood samples were collected at days 2, 8, 30, 90, 180, and 270 post infection (PI), and the expression of TGF-β1 mRNA and protein was determined by real-time quantitative RT-PCR and ELISA, respectively. We also evaluated the pathological changes in the liver during the infection using hematoxylin and eosin (H-E) and Masson staining of the liver sections. Pathological analysis of H-E stained infected liver sections revealed liver cell edema, bile duct proliferation, and structural damages of the liver as evidenced by not clearly visible lobular architecture of the infected liver, degeneration of liver cell vacuoles, and infiltration of lymphocytes at late stages of infection. The liver tissue sections from control mice remained normal. Masson staining showed worsening of liver fibrosis at the end stages of the infection. The levels of TGF-β1 did not show significant changes at the early stages of infection, but there were significant increases in the levels of TGF-β1 at the middle and late stages of infection (P<0.05). RT-PCR results showed that, when compared with the control group, TGF-β1 mRNA was low and comparable with that in control mice at the early stages of infection, and that it was significantly increased at day 30 PI and remained at high levels until day 270 PI (P<0.05). The results of this study suggested that increased expression of TGF-β1 during E. granulosus infection may play a significant role in liver fibrosis associated with E. granulosus infection.


Echinococcus granulosus; Liver fibrosis; TGF-β1

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