Ethanol induces transforming growth factor-alpha expression in hepatocytes, leading to stimulation of collagen synthesis by hepatic stellate cells.

Fourth Department of Internal Medicine, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research (Impact Factor: 3.42). 09/2003; 27(8 Suppl):58S-63S. DOI: 10.1097/01.ALC.0000078614.44983.97
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Liver fibrosis often develops in alcoholic liver diseases without accompanying inflammation; however, the underlying mechanism is unclear. Using ethanol-exposed human HepG2 hepatoblastoma cells as a model for alcoholic liver diseases, we previously found that ethanol exposure causes HepG2 cells to secrete an approximately 6,000 Da nonheparin-binding polypeptide that stimulates collagen synthesis in human IMR-90 fibroblasts. The aim of the current study was to characterize and identify this factor.
Concentration of type I procollagen peptide and transforming growth factor (TGF)-alpha was assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. TGF-alpha protein expression was examined by Western blot. Type I collagen messenger RNA expression in rat hepatic stellate cells was assessed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.
The collagen-stimulating activity in conditioned media from ethanol-exposed HepG2 cells to stimulate type I procollagen peptide synthesis of IMR-90 cells was specifically inhibited by addition of anti-TGF-alpha antibodies. Western blot analysis showed increased TGF-alpha protein expression in ethanol-treated HepG2 cells. TGF-alpha in conditioned medium from ethanol-exposed HepG2 cells stimulated type-I collagen messenger RNA expression in rat hepatic stellate cells.
These results suggest that TGF-alpha derived from ethanol-exposed hepatocytes may contribute to the development of hepatic fibrosis in alcoholic liver diseases.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Liver fibrosis may be considered as a dynamic and integrated cellular response to chronic liver injury. The activation of hepatic stellate cells and the consequent deposition of large amounts of extracellular matrix play a major role in the fibrogenic process, but it has been shown that other cellular components of the liver are also involved. Although the pathogenesis of liver damage usually depends on the underlying disease, oxidative damage of biologically relevant molecules might represent a common link between different forms of chronic liver injury and hepatic fibrosis. In fact, oxidative stress-related molecules may act as mediators able to modulate all the events involved in the progression of liver fibrosis. In addition, chronic liver diseases are often associated with decreased antioxidant defenses. Although vitamin E levels have been shown to be decreased in chronic liver diseases of different etiology, the role of vitamin E supplementation in these clinical conditions is still controversial. In fact, the increased serum levels of alpha-tocopherol following vitamin E supplementation not always result in a protective effect on liver damage. In addition, clinical trials have usually been performed in small cohorts of patients, thus making definitive conclusions impossible. At present, treatment with vitamin E or other antioxidant compounds could be proposed for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the most frequent hepatic lesion in western countries which can progress to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and cirrhosis due to the production of large amounts of oxidative stress products. However, although some studies have shown encouraging results, multicentric and long-term clinical trials are needed.
    Vitamins & Hormones 02/2007; 76:551-73. · 2.30 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Long term hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major risk factor in pathogenesis of chronic liver diseases, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The HBV encoded proteins, hepatitis B virus X protein and preS, appear to contribute importantly to the pathogenesis of HCC. Both are associated with oxidative stress, which can damage cellular molecules like lipids, proteins, and DNA during chronic infection. Chronic alcohol use is another important factor that contributes to oxidative stress in the liver. Previous studies reported that treatment with antioxidants, such as curcumin, silymarin, green tea, and vitamins C and E, can protect DNA from damage and regulate liver pathogenesis-related cascades by reducing reactive oxygen species. This review summarizes some of the relationships between oxidative stress and liver pathogenesis, focusing upon HBV and alcohol, and suggests antioxidant therapeutic approaches.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 12/2010; 16(48):6035-43. · 2.55 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The effect of transforming growth factor (TGF)-α on fibrosis varies between cell types and the role of TGF-α in hepatic fibrosis has not been fully elucidated. We examined the effect of TGF-α on hepatic fibrosis using TGF-α-expressing transgenic mice fed a methionine- and choline-deficient (MCD) diet and human hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) line LX-2, rat and human primary HSCs. Although the expression levels of the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 and α1(I) collagen mRNA were unchanged, feeding the TGF-α transgenic mice the MCD diet resulted in greater expression of the murine functional analogue of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1), MMP-13 mRNA and protein and attenuated hepatic fibrosis compared with wild-type mice. TGF-α overexpression did not affect the extent of the steatosis, oxidative stress and hepatic inflammation in the MCD diet-fed mice. The effect of TGF-α on the fibrogenic and anti-fibrogenic gene expressions varied between cell types in vitro. TGF-α increased MMP-1 mRNA expressions that were completely blocked by gefitinib in LX-2 cells. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2, c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p38 pathways were involved in MMP-1 mRNA expression in LX-2 cells. Although TGF-α increased the phosphorylation of p38, the p38 inhibitor activated the RAS-ERK pathway and increased TGF-α-induced MMP-1 mRNA expression, which suggested that there may be a crosstalk between the RAS-ERK and the p38 pathways in LX-2 cells. The TGF-α may attenuate hepatic fibrosis in part because of upregulation of the expression of MMP-1. The balance between fibrogenic and anti-fibrogenic gene expression and between the activity of the RAS-ERK and the p38 pathways may be crucial for the fibrotic process.
    Liver international: official journal of the International Association for the Study of the Liver 04/2011; 31(4):572-84. · 3.87 Impact Factor