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World journal of gastroenterology

Inhibitory effects of rapamycin on the different stages of hepatic fibrosis.


PMID 24966615

Abstract

To investigate and compare the inhibitory effects of rapamycin in the different stages of liver fibrosis. We performed bile duct ligation (BDL) in male Wistar rats (n = 24). The experimental rats were classified into four groups: the BDL(+)/Rapa(-) group (un-treated control, n = 4), the BDL(+)/Rapa(+) group (treated 14 d after BDL, n = 8), the BDL(+)/Rapa(++) group (treated on the day after BDL, n = 8), and the BDL(-)/Rapa(-) group (un-treated, sham -operated control, n = 4). The BDL(+)/Rapa(+) and BDL(+)/Rapa(++) groups were administered rapamycin (2 mg/kg) for 28 d. The liver tissues were tested by immunohistochemical staining for α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and cytokeratin. The liver mRNA levels of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) were measured using the polymerase chain reaction. The protein levels of liver p70s6K and p-p70s6k were determined using Western blotting. α-SMA expression was lowest in the BDL(+)/Rapa(++)group. TGF-β1 and PDGF expression levels in the rapamycin-treated group were lower than those in the un-treated group and higher than those in the control groups (TGF-β1: 0.23 ± 0.00 vs 0.34 ± 0.01, 0.23 ± 0.0 vs 0.09 ± 0.00, P < 0.0001; PDGF: 0.21 ± 0.00 vs 0.34 ± 0.01, 0.21 ± 0.0 vs 0.09 ± 0.00, P < 0.0001). The p70s6k and p-p70s6k levels decreased in the treated groups and were lowest in the BDL(+)/Rapa(++)group (p70s6k: 1.05 ± 0.17 vs 1.30 ± 0.56, 0.40 ± 0.01 vs 1.30 ± 0.56, P < 0.0001; p-p70s6k: 1.40 ± 0.5 vs 1.67 ± 0.12, 0.70 ± 0.01 vs 1.67 ± 0.12, P < 0.0001). The results of our study indicate that rapamycin has inhibitory effects on liver fibrosis, and the treatment is most effective in the early stages of fibrosis.