IGFBPrP1 induces liver fibrosis by inducing hepatic stellate cell activation and hepatocyte apoptosis via Smad2/3 signaling.World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Jun 07; 20(21):6523-33.WJ
To investigate the role and mechanism of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-related protein 1 (IGFBPrP1) in the development of liver fibrosis.
An in vitro model using hepatic stellate cell (HSC)-T6 cells and an in vivo model of rat liver overexpressing IGFBPrP1 were established using an IGFBPrP1-expressing recombinant adenovirus. The expression of IGFBPrP1 was examined by immunofluorescence, and the expression of collagen I and fibronectin was measured by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis. The expression of Smad2/3 and p-Smad2/3 was examined by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. A shSmad3-expressing recombinant adenovirus (AdshSmad3) was designed and used to knockdown the Smad3 gene in HSC-T6 cells and rat liver fibrosis transfected with IGFBPrP1. The expression of collagen I, fibronectin, and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) was determined by Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry. Hepatocyte apoptosis was assessed using TUNEL assay.
IGFBPrP1 overexpression induced collagen deposition and up-regulated the expression of α-SMA and p-Smad2/3, and AdshSmad3 inhibited IGFBPrP1-stimulated p-Smad2/3 activation and the expression of α-SMA, collagen I and fibronectin in HSC-T6 cells. Similarly, increased hepatocyte apoptosis (38.56% ± 3.42% vs 0.24% ± 0.03%, P < 0.05), α-SMA positive stained cells (29.84% ± 1.36% vs 5.83% ± 1.47%, P < 0.05), and increased numbers of Smad3 (35.88% ± 2.15% vs 10.24% ± 1.31%, P < 0.05) and p-Smad2/3 positive cells (28.87% ± 2.73% vs 8.23% ± 0.98%, P < 0.05) were detected in the livers of IGFBPrP1-overexpressing rats compared with the control group. Moreover, AdshSmad3 reduced IGFBPrP1-stimulated Smad3 expression and attenuated α-SMA expression (29.84% ± 1.36% vs 8.23% ± 1.28%, P < 0.05), hepatocyte apoptosis (38.56% ± 3.42% vs 6.75% ± 0.52%, P < 0.05), and both collagen I and fibronectin deposition in the livers of AdIGFBPrP1-treated rats.
IGFBPrP1 induces liver fibrosis by mediating the activation of hepatic stellate cells and hepatocyte apoptosis in a Smad3-dependent mechanism.