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World J Gastroenterol. 2018 Nov 14;24(42):4759-4772. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i42.4759.

Yiguanjian decoction enhances fetal liver stem/progenitor cell-mediated repair of liver cirrhosis through regulation of macrophage activation state.

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Department of Hepatology, Shuguang Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China.



To investigate whether Yiguanjian decoction (YGJ) has an anti-liver cirrhotic effect and whether it regulates hepatic stem cell differentiation.


A rat model of liver cirrhosis was established via subcutaneous injection of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) for 8 wk. From the beginning of the ninth week, the rats received 2-acetylaminofluorene (2-AAF) by oral gavage and a DLK-1+ fetal liver stem/progenitor cell (FLSPC) transplant or an FLSPC transplant in combination with YGJ treatment for 4 wk. In vitro, lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated macrophages were co-cultured with WB-F344 cells, and the differentiation of WB-F344 cells was observed in the presence and absence of YGJ treatment.


FLSPC transplantation improved liver function and histopathology, and inhibited the activation of the non-canonical Wnt signaling pathway, while activating the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. YGJ enhanced the therapeutic effects of FLSPCs and also promoted the liver regeneration differentiation of FLSPCs into hepatocytes. In vitro, LPS-activated macrophages promoted the differentiation of WB-F344 cells into myofibroblasts, and the canonical Wnt signaling was inhibited while the non-canonical Wnt signaling was activated in WB-F344 cells. YGJ suppressed the activation of macrophages and then inhibited non-canonical Wnt signaling and promoted canonical Wnt signaling.


YGJ enhances FLSPC-mediated repair of liver cirrhosis through regulation of macrophage activation state, and YGJ in combination with stem cell transplantation may be a suitable treatment for end-stage liver cirrhosis.


2-acetylaminofluorene; Carbon tetrachloride; Cirrhosis; Hepatic progenitor cells; Macrophage; Wnt signaling pathway; Yiguanjian decoction

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