Transforming Growth Factor β Neutralization Ameliorates Pre-Existing Hepatic Fibrosis and Reduces Cholangiocarcinoma in Thioacetamide-Treated Rats

Medical University Graz, Austria
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 01/2013; 8(1):e54499. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054499
Source: PubMed


Considerable evidence has demonstrated that transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) plays a key role in hepatic fibrosis, the final common pathway for a variety of chronic liver diseases leading to liver insufficiency. Although a few studies have reported that blocking TGF-β with soluble receptors or siRNA can prevent the progression of hepatic fibrosis, as yet no evidence has been provided that TGF-β antagonism can improve pre-existing hepatic fibrosis. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of a murine neutralizing TGF-β monoclonal antibody (1D11), in a rat model of thioacetamide (TAA)-induced hepatic fibrosis. TAA administration for 8 weeks induced extensive hepatic fibrosis, whereupon 1D11 dosing was initiated and maintained for 8 additional weeks. Comparing the extent of fibrosis at two time points, pre- and post-1D11 dosing, we observed a profound regression of tissue injury and fibrosis upon treatment, as reflected by a reduction of collagen deposition to a level significantly less than that observed before 1D11 dosing. Hepatic TGF-β1 mRNA, tissue hydroxyproline, and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) levels were significantly elevated at the end of the 8 week TAA treatment. Vehicle and antibody control groups demonstrated progressive injury through 16 weeks, whereas those animals treated for 8 weeks with 1D11 showed striking improvement in histologic and molecular endpoints. During the course of tissue injury, TAA also induced cholangiocarcinomas. At the end of study, the number and area of cholangiocarcinomas were significantly diminished in rats receiving 1D11 as compared to control groups, presumably by the marked reduction of supporting fibrosis/stroma. The present study demonstrates that 1D11 can reverse pre-existing hepatic fibrosis induced by extended dosing of TAA. The regression of fibrosis was accompanied by a marked reduction in concomitantly developed cholangiocarcinomas. These data provide evidence that therapeutic dosing of a TGF-β antagonist can diminish and potentially reverse hepatic fibrosis and also reduce the number and size of attendant cholangiocarcinomas.

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Available from: Steve Ledbetter, Aug 22, 2014
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    • "Results of studies in which TGF-β is overexpressed in liver using adenovirus or in transgenic TGF-β mice have revealed that TGF-β contributes both HSCs activation and fibrogenesis (26-28). Furthermore, blocking of TGF-β signaling protected mice and rats against liver fibrosis in several experimental models (29,30). In the present study, quercetin inhibited TGF-β expression in liver with hepatic fibrosis, which is in agreement with other results showing that quercetin treatment of fibroblasts significantly inhibited collagen and TGF-β production (10,31,32). "
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    ABSTRACT: Immune response plays an important role in the development of hepatic fibrosis. In the present study, we investigated the effects of quercetin on hepatitis and hepatic fibrosis induced by immunological mechanism. In the acute hepatitis model, quercetin (2.5 mg/kg) was injected iv into mice 30 min after concanavalin A (Con A) challenge. Mice were sacrificed 4 or 24 h after Con A injection, and aminotransferase tests and histopathological sections were performed. Treatment with quercetin significantly decreased the levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). Consistent with this observation, treatment with quercetin markedly attenuated the pathologic changes in the liver. A hepatic fibrosis model was also generated in mice by Con A challenge once a week for 6 consecutive weeks. Mice in the experimental group were treated with daily iv injections of quercetin (0.5 mg/kg). Histopathological analyses revealed that treatment with quercetin markedly decreased collagen deposition, pseudolobuli development, and hepatic stellate cells activation. We also examined the effects of quercetin on the nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) pathways by immunohistochemistry and real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). NF-κB and TGF-β production was decreased after treatment with quercetin, indicating that the antifibrotic effect of quercetin is associated with its ability to modulate NF-κB and TGF-β production. These results suggest that quercetin may be an effective therapeutic strategy in the treatment of patients with liver damage and fibrosis.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Brazilian journal of medical and biological research = Revista brasileira de pesquisas medicas e biologicas / Sociedade Brasileira de Biofisica ... [et al.]
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    • "Since earlier studies have shown TGF-β to promote hepatic fibrosis [24], we tested whether this mediated the effects of Vpu-expressing cells. The U937-VpuGFP cells expressed increased intracellular levels of TGF-β mRNA (Fig. 3A) and protein (Fig. 3B) and secreted higher levels of TGF-β in the culture supernatant (Fig. 3C). "
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    ABSTRACT: There is faster progression to fibrosis in persons with liver injury who are also infected with HIV. Other reports have suggested that HIV can directly infect and activate stellate cells, and the viral Tat and gp160 proteins also induce profibrogenic factors from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). We tested the role of HIV-1 Vpu accessory protein in promoting profibrogenic activation of hepatic stellate cells. Human stellate LX2 cells were cocultured with human monocytic U937 cells stably expressing the Vpu protein or latently infected U1 cells knocked down for Vpu expression, LX2 cells were also cultured with the supernatants from these cells. The expression of profibrogenic markers was evaluated in LX2 cells usingquantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR),western blotting, immunofluorescence,flow cytometry and ELISA were used to confirm and quantitate protein expression. Monocytic cells expressing Vpu increased the expression of profibrogenic markers in LX2 cells. The culture supernatants of these cells contained increased levels of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), which correlated with increased activity of the AP-1 transcription factor. Antibodies against TGF-β or a TGF-β receptor inhibitor (SB431452) reversed Vpu-mediated profibrogenic activation of LX2 cells, suggesting that TGF-β mediated these effects. The cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) attenuated Vpu-mediated TGF-β secretion and profibrogenic effects on LX2 cells. Besides its other roles in pathogenesis, Vpu is likely to contribute to hepatic fibrosis through this hitherto unknown mechanism.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "A number of studies have attempted to inhibit hepatic fibrosis by abrogating the pro-fibrotic effect of TGF-β1. These studies have used different approaches, including reducing the synthesis of active TGF-β1 by gene silencing [6] or through the expression of protease inhibitors [7], neutralizing TGF-β1 through treatment with specific antibodies (Ab) [8,9], creating TGF-β1 sinks with soluble TGF-β receptors [10-12] or truncated TGF-β receptors [13,14], blocking ligand-receptor interaction by TGF-β1-specific polypeptide [15], and suppressing the post-receptor signal transduction pathways [16]. Although the efficacies of these measures have been validated in experimental hepatic fibrosis, their feasibility in clinical therapeutic practice is questionable. "
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    ABSTRACT: Transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) is the pivotal pro-fibrogenic cytokine in hepatic fibrosis. Reducing the over-produced expression of TGF-β1 or blocking its signaling pathways is considered to be a promising therapeutic strategy for hepatic fibrosis. In this study, we evaluated the feasibility of attenuating hepatic fibrosis by vaccination against TGF-β1 with TGF-β1 kinoids. Two TGF-β1 kinoid vaccines were prepared by cross-linking TGF-β1-derived polypeptides (TGF-β1(25)-[41-65] and TGF-β1(30)-[83-112]) to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH). Immunization with the two TGF-β1 kinoids efficiently elicited the production of high-levels of TGF-β1-specific antibodies against in BALB/c mice as tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blotting. The antisera neutralized TGF-β1-induced growth-inhibition on mink lung epithelial cells (Mv1Lu) and attenuated TGF-β1-induced Smad2/3 phosphorylation, α-SMA, collagen type 1 alpha 2 (COL1A2), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) expression in the rat hepatic stellate cell (HSC) line, HSC-T6. Vaccination against TGF-β1 with the kinoids significantly suppressed CCl4-induced collagen deposition and the expression of α-SMA and desmin, attenuated hepatocyte apoptosis and accelerated hepatocyte proliferation in BALB/c mice. These results demonstrated that immunization with the TGF-β1 kinoids efficiently attenuated CCl4-induced hepatic fibrosis and liver injury. Our study suggests that vaccination against TGF-β1 might be developed into a feasible therapeutic approach for the treatment of chronic fibrotic liver diseases.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · PLoS ONE
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