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J Cell Mol Med. 2017 Dec;21(12):3821-3835. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.13304. Epub 2017 Aug 7.

MMP-13 deletion decreases profibrogenic molecules and attenuates N-nitrosodimethylamine-induced liver injury and fibrosis in mice.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Molecular Medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
Department of Hepatology, Kanazawa Medical University, Uchinada, Ishikawa, Japan.


Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is involved in inflammation, pathogenesis and progression of liver fibrosis. Matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP-13) cleaves CTGF and releases several fragments, which are more potent than the parent molecule to induce fibrosis. The current study was aimed to elucidate the significance of MMP-13 and CTGF and their downstream effects in liver injury and fibrosis. Hepatic fibrosis was induced using intraperitoneal injections of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in doses of 10 μg/g body weight on three consecutive days of each week over a period of 4 weeks in both wild-type (WT) and MMP-13 knockout mice. Administration of NDMA resulted in marked elevation of AST, ALT, TGF-β1 and hyaluronic acid in the serum and activation of stellate cells, massive necrosis, deposition of collagen fibres and increase in total collagen in the liver of WT mice with a significant decrease in MMP-13 knockout mice. Protein and mRNA levels of CTGF, TGF-β1, α-SMA and type I collagen and the levels of MMP-2, MMP-9 and cleaved products of CTGF were markedly increased in NDMA-treated WT mice compared to the MMP-13 knockout mice. Blocking of MMP-13 with CL-82198 in hepatic stellate cell cultures resulted in marked decrease of the staining intensity of CTGF as well as protein levels of full-length CTGF and its C-terminal fragments and active TGF-β1. The data demonstrate that MMP-13 and CTGF play a crucial role in modulation of fibrogenic mediators and promote hepatic fibrogenesis. Furthermore, the study suggests that blocking of MMP-13 and CTGF has potential therapeutic implications to arrest liver fibrosis.


NDMA ; MMP-13; N-nitrosodimethylamine; connective tissue growth factor; hepatic fibrosis

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