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Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 14;7:44545. doi: 10.1038/srep44545.

Tyrosine kinase inhibitor BIBF1120 ameliorates inflammation, angiogenesis and fibrosis in CCl4-induced liver fibrogenesis mouse model.

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Targeted Therapeutics, Department of Biomaterials Science and Technology, MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands.
Department of Pharmaceutics, Utrecht Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Hepatic fibrosis, a progressive chronic disease mainly caused by hepatitis viral infections, alcohol abuse or metabolic syndrome leading to liver dysfunction and is the growing cause of mortality worldwide. Tyrosine kinase inhibitor BIBF1120 (Nintedanib) has been evaluated in clinical trials for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and advanced Hepatocellular carcinoma, but has not been explored for liver fibrosis yet. In this study, we aimed to investigate the therapeutic effects and mechanism of BIBF1120 in liver fibrogenesis. The effects of BIBF1120 were evaluated in TGFβ-activated mouse 3T3 fibroblasts, LX2 cells, primary human hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) and CCl4-induced liver fibrogenesis mouse model. Fibroblasts-conditioned medium studies were performed to assess the paracrine effects on macrophages and endothelial cells. In-vitro in TGFβ-activated fibroblasts, BIBF1120 significantly inhibited expression of major fibrotic parameters, wound-healing and contractility. In vivo in CCl4-induced acute liver injury model, post-disease BIBF1120 administration significantly attenuated collagen accumulation and HSC activation. Interestingly, BIBF1120 drastically inhibited intrahepatic inflammation and angiogenesis. To further elucidate the mechanism of action, 3T3-conditioned medium studies demonstrated increased 3T3-mediated macrophage chemotaxis and endothelial cells tube formation and activation, which was significantly decreased by BIBF1120. These results suggests that BIBF1120 can be a potential therapeutic approach for the treatment of liver fibrosis.

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