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Primary Alcohol-Activated Human and Mouse Hepatic Stellate Cells Share Similarities in Gene-Expression Profiles.

  • Author(s): Liu, Xiao
  • Rosenthal, Sara Brin
  • Meshgin, Nairika
  • Baglieri, Jacopo
  • Musallam, Sami G
  • Diggle, Karin
  • Lam, Kevin
  • Wu, Raymond
  • Pan, Stephanie Q
  • Chen, Yibu
  • Dorko, Ken
  • Presnell, Sharon
  • Benner, Chris
  • Hosseini, Mojgan
  • Tsukamoto, Hidekazu
  • Brenner, David
  • Kisseleva, Tatiana
  • et al.

Published Web Location

Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a leading cause of cirrhosis in the United States, which is characterized by extensive deposition of extracellular matrix proteins and formation of a fibrous scar. Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) are the major source of collagen type 1 producing myofibroblasts in ALD fibrosis. However, the mechanism of alcohol-induced activation of human and mouse HSCs is not fully understood. We compared the gene-expression profiles of primary cultured human HSCs (hHSCs) isolated from patients with ALD (n = 3) or without underlying liver disease (n = 4) using RNA-sequencing analysis. Furthermore, the gene-expression profile of ALD hHSCs was compared with that of alcohol-activated mHSCs (isolated from intragastric alcohol-fed mice) or CCl4-activated mouse HSCs (mHSCs). Comparative transcriptome analysis revealed that ALD hHSCs, in addition to alcohol-activated and CCl4-activated mHSCs, share the expression of common HSC activation (Col1a1 [collagen type I alpha 1 chain], Acta1 [actin alpha 1, skeletal muscle], PAI1 [plasminogen activator inhibitor-1], TIMP1 [tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1], and LOXL2 [lysyl oxidase homolog 2]), indicating that a common mechanism underlies the activation of human and mouse HSCs. Furthermore, alcohol-activated mHSCs most closely recapitulate the gene-expression profile of ALD hHSCs. We identified the genes that are similarly and uniquely up-regulated in primary cultured alcohol-activated hHSCs and freshly isolated mHSCs, which include CSF1R (macrophage colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor), PLEK (pleckstrin), LAPTM5 (lysosmal-associated transmembrane protein 5), CD74 (class I transactivator, the invariant chain), CD53, MMP9 (matrix metallopeptidase 9), CD14, CTSS (cathepsin S), TYROBP (TYRO protein tyrosine kinase-binding protein), and ITGB2 (integrin beta-2), and other genes (compared with CCl4-activated mHSCs). Conclusion: We identified genes in alcohol-activated mHSCs from intragastric alcohol-fed mice that are largely consistent with the gene-expression profile of primary cultured hHSCs from patients with ALD. These genes are unique to alcohol-induced HSC activation in two species, and therefore may become targets or readout for antifibrotic therapy in experimental models of ALD.

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