Insulin-like growth factor binding protein related protein 1 knockdown attenuates hepatic fibrosis via the regulation of MMPs/TIMPs in mice.Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int. 2019 Feb; 18(1):38-47.HP
Previous research suggested that insulin-like growth factor binding protein related protein 1 (IGFBPrP1), as a novel mediator, contributes to hepatic fibrogenesis. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP) play an essential role in hepatic fibrogenesis by regulating homeostasis and remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM). However, the interaction between IGFBPrP1 and MMP/TIMP is not clear. The present study was to knockdown IGFBPrP1 to investigate the correlation between IGFBPrP1 and MMP/TIMP in hepatic fibrosis.
Hepatic fibrosis was induced by thioacetamide (TAA) in mice. Knockdown of IGFBPrP1 expression by ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction-mediated CMB-shRNA-IGFBPrP1 delivery, or inhibition of the Hedgehog (Hh) pathway by cyclopamine treatment, was performed in TAA-induced liver fibrosis mice. Hepatic fibrosis was determined by hematoxylin and eosin and Sirius red staining. Hepatic expression of IGFBPrP1, α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), transforming growth factor β 1 (TGFβ1), collagen I, MMPs/TIMPs, Sonic Hedgehog (Shh), and glioblastoma family transcription factors (Gli1) were investigated by immunohistochemical staining and Western blotting analysis.
We found that hepatic expression of IGFBPrP1, TGFβ1, α-SMA, and collagen I were increased longitudinally in mice with TAA-induced hepatic fibrosis, concomitant with MMP2/TIMP2 and MMP9/TIMP1 imbalance and Hh pathway activation. Knockdown of IGFBPrP1 expression, or inhibition of the Hh pathway, reduced the hepatic expression of IGFBPrP1, TGFβ1, α-SMA, and collagen I and re-established MMP2/TIMP2 and MMP9/TIMP1 balance.
Our findings suggest that IGFBPrP1 knockdown attenuates liver fibrosis by re-establishing MMP2/TIMP2 and MMP9/TIMP1 balance, concomitant with the inhibition of hepatic stellate cell activation, down-regulation of TGFβ1 expression, and degradation of the ECM. Furthermore, the Hh pathway mediates IGFBPrP1 knockdown-induced attenuation of hepatic fibrosis through the regulation of MMPs/TIMPs balance.