Background: There is much known about hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) during liver injury. However, some aspects remain unclear, such as the natural expression levels of HSCs during the days to weeks after liver injury. Does liver regeneration start the same time as the injury process? Methods: Fifty-four male Wistar rats aged 7 to 8 weeks, weighing 200 to 320 g each were subjected to bile duct ligation (BDL). After surgery, they were killed at different times post-BDL. Collagen deposition was analyzed, and immunohistochemical staining of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), vimentin, matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), tissue inhibitor matrix metalloproteinase-1, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen antibody (PCNA) was performed to evaluate HSCs and liver regeneration. Results: The expression of α-SMA was seen as early as day 3 post-BDL, which started from peribiliary to perisinusoidal, and was seen throughout the whole liver sections on day 28 post-BDL. Similar expression patterns were seen in MMP-2 staining. The PCNA expression was strongest around the perisinusoidal area. These expression patterns were not observed in the sham-operated rats. Conclusions: The activation of HSCs showed a synchronized fibrogenic process and liver regeneration from days to weeks after liver injury. Matrix degradation was thus found to increase in accordance with chronic liver injury, which thus led to an excessive collagen deposition.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health