Stellate Cell Activation and Imbalanced Expression of TGF-β1/TGF-β3 in Acute Autoimmune Liver Lesions Induced by ConA in Mice.

Wang L, Tu L, Zhang J et al.

Division of Gastroenterology, Shandong Provincial Qianfoshan Hospital, Jinan, Shandong, China; Division of Gastroenterology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

BioMed research international. 2017.

Objective. To study the pathogenic feature of liver injury, activation of hepatic stellate cells, and dynamic expression of TGF-β1/TGF-β3 to reveal their role in liver injury induced by ConA. Methods. Mice were randomly divided into control group and ConA treatment group. ConA (20 mg/kg) was injected through vena caudalis in ConA treatment group; the controls received the same volume of saline injection. After injection for 2 h, 8 h, 24 h, and 48 h, animals were terminated. Blood, liver, and spleen were harvested. Liver function and histopathology were studied. α-SMA, vimentin, TGF-β1, and TGF-β3 were detected. Results. After ConA injection, liver damage started to increase. Expression of α-SMA, vimentin, TGF-β1, and TGF-β3 was significantly enhanced; all above indicators reached peak at 8 h; but from 24 h after ConA injection, TGF-β3 expression began to decline, while the TGF-β1/TGF-β3 ratio at 48 h was significantly lower than control. Conclusion. (1) Autoimmune liver injury induced by ConA showed time-based features, in which the most serious liver lesions happened at 8 h after ConA injection. (2) Early activation of HSC and imbalance expression of TGF-β1 and TGF-β3 existed in ConA-induced acute autoimmune liver injury, which may be associated with liver dysfunction and the mechanisms of progression to fibrosis.


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