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Biochem Pharmacol. 1995 Aug 8;50(4):515-20.

Remission of liver fibrosis by interferon-alpha 2b.

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Departamento de Farmacología y Toxicología, CINVESTAV-I. P. N., México, D.F., México.


Fibrosis is a dynamic process associated with the continuous deposition and resorption of connective tissue, mainly collagen. Therapeutic strategies are emerging by which this dynamic process can be modulated. Since interferons are known to inhibit collagen production, the aim of this study was to investigate if the administration of interferon-alpha 2b (IFN-alpha) can restore the normal hepatic content of collagen in rats with established fibrosis. Fibrosis was induced by prolonged bile duct ligation. IFN-alpha (100,000 IU/rat/day; s.c.) was administered to fibrotic rats for 15 days. Bile duct ligation increased liver collagen content 6-fold. In addition, serum and liver markers of hepatic injury increased significantly; liver histology showed an increase in collagen deposition, and the normal architecture was lost, with large zones of necrosis being observed frequently. IFN-alpha administration reversed to normal the values of all the biochemical markers measured and restored the normal architecture of the liver. Our results demonstrated that IFN-alpha is useful in reversing fibrosis and liver damage induced by biliary obstruction in the rat. However, further investigations are required to evaluate the therapeutic relevance of interferons on non-viral fibrosis and cholestasis.

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