ABSTRACT: To investigate the effects of blueberry on the proliferation and activation of hepatic stellate cell (HSC) and its mechanism.
Rat HSC were isolated by type IV collagenase digestion and Nycodenz density gradient centrifugation. The cultured HSC was incubated at different concentrations of 10% blueberry serum. The 10% DSHX serum was used as positive control and 10% normal rat serum group as control. MTT colorimetric assay was used to detect the HSC proliferation. ColI of culture supernatant was detected by ELISA. The expression of α-SMA in HSC was measured by immunocytochemistry staining while the expressions of Nrf2 and HO-1 were determined by Western blot.
Compared with controls, the low and high-dose blueberry serum groups significantly inhibited the HSC proliferation (P < 0.05). It had the same inhibitory effects as the positive control serum group (P > 0.05). ColI of culture supernatant obviously decreased (P < 0.05). And the expression levels of α-SMA in low and high-dose blueberry serum groups decreased significantly (P < 0.05). And there were similar effects in low & high-dose blueberry serum and positive control serum groups. Western blot showed that the expressions of Nrf2 and HO-1 in blueberry and positive control serum groups were higher than that in control group. And the increment was more significant in the low and high-dose blueberry serum groups (P < 0.05).
Blueberry can significantly inhibit the proliferation and activation of HSC and reduce the synthesis of extra-cellular matrix. It may have potential preventive and protective effects on hepatic fibrosis. The mechanism may be related to an elevated expression of HO-1 through the Nrf2 pathway.
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