Molecular medicine reports

Visfatin: an adipokine activator of rat hepatic stellate cells.

PMID 25351242


The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of visfatin on the activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSC) and the possible underlying mechanism. HSC were isolated from the livers of Sprague‑Dawley rats by in situ perfusion of collagenase and pronase and a single‑step density Nycodenz gradient. The culture‑activated cells were serum‑starved and incubated with different concentrations of recombinant visfatin (0, 25, 50, 100 or 200 ng/ml) for 24 h. The expression of α‑smooth muscle actin (α‑SMA), collagen types I and III and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) were then measured by reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT‑qPCR) and western blot analysis. The results demonstrated that 100 and 200 ng/ml concentrations of visfatin induced the expression of α‑SMA in culture‑activated rat HSC, which was accompanied by a significant increase in collagen types I and III, as confirmed by western blot and RT‑qPCR analyses. In addition, treatment of the HSC with certain concentrations of visfatin upregulated the expression of CTGF. These findings suggested that visfatin activated HSC and induced the production of collagen types I and III.