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Biochem J. 1987 May 15;244(1):75-9.

Gene expression of type I, III and IV collagens in hepatic fibrosis induced by dimethylnitrosamine in the rat.

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Collagen Research Unit, University of Oulu, Finland.


Dimethylnitrosamine (DMN)-induced hepatic fibrosis was used as an experimental model to study collagen-gene expression during liver fibrogenesis. Increase in the concentrations of the mRNAs for type I, III, and IV collagens was found to be an early event in the development of hepatic fibrosis, as the mRNAs for all three collagen types showed a definite increasing tendency by day 7 of DMN treatment. Prolyl 4-hydroxylase (EC and galactosylhydroxylysyl glucosyltransferase (EC activities were also distinctly elevated at this stage, whereas no increase could be detected in the liver collagen content. The increase in the mRNAs for type I collagen was the smallest and that for type IV collagen the greatest at all the time points studied. The relative concentrations of the mRNAs for the three collagen types on day 21 of DMN treatment were 350% of the control mean for type I collagen, 490% for type III and 660% for type IV. The data further indicate that the proportions of the mRNAs for the three collagen types are 1.0:0.9:0.2 in normal rat liver, 1.0:1.4:0.8 on day 14 of DMN treatment, and 1.0:1.3:0.5 on day 21. The early marked increase in the mRNA for type IV collagen suggests that enhanced production of basement-membrane collagen may be an early event in the development of hepatic fibrosis.

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