Background: Endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress) plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of liver fibrosis; thus, it can be a potential therapeutic target of fibrosis. However, the mechanism of ER stress regulation in fibrosis, particularly through sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), remains unclear. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of SIRT1-mediated inhibition of ER stress in bile duct ligation (BDL)-induced liver fibrosis, and to explore the effect of salvianolic acid A (SalA) on BDL-induced liver fibrosis through SIRT1/heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) signaling. Materials and Methods: We explored the effects of SalA on liver fibrosis and ER stress in BDL-induced liver fibrosis in rats and the human hepatic stellate cell line LX2 cells. The LX2 cells were treated with 20 ng of platelet-derived growth factor-BB homodimer (PDGF-BB) for 24 h, and then incubated in the absence or presence of SalA (25 μM) for 24 h. Results:In vivo, SalA treatment alleviated BDL-induced liver injury and ER stress. Importantly, SalA treatment increased HSF1 expression and activity using a SIRT1-dependent mechanism. In LX2 cells, PDGF-BB induced ER stress and fibrosis were blocked by HSF1 overexpression. Furthermore, SIRT1 siRNA abrogated the SalA-mediated promotion of HSF1 deacetylation and expression, suggesting that SalA-mediated protection occurs by SIRT1 targeting HSF1 for deacetylation. Conclusion: This is the first study to identify the SIRT1/HSF1 pathway as a key therapeutic target for controlling BDL-induced liver fibrosis and to show that SalA confers protection against BDL- and PDGF-BB-induced hepatic fibrosis and ER stress through SIRT1-mediated HSF1 deacetylation.
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