Basic Research
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2004. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Oct 15, 2004; 10(20): 3001-3005
Published online Oct 15, 2004. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v10.i20.3001
Relationship between focal adhesion kinase and hepatic stellate cell proliferation during rat hepatic fibrogenesis
Hui-Qing Jiang, Xiao-Lan Zhang, Li Liu, Chang-Chun Yang
Hui-Qing Jiang, Xiao-Lan Zhang, Li Liu, Department of Gastroenterology, The Second Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang 050000, Hebei Province, China
Chang-Chun Yang, Department of Medicine, the Armed Police Hospital of Hebei Province, Shijiazhuang 050081, Hebei Province, China
Author contributions: All authors contributed equally to the work.
Supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province, No. 301361
Correspondence to: Professor Hui-Qing Jiang, Department of Gastroenterology, The Second Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang 050000, Hebei Province, China.
Telephone: +86-311-7222951
Received: August 23, 2003
Revised: August 26, 2003
Accepted: September 5, 2003
Published online: October 15, 2004

AIM: To investigate the dynamic expression of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) protein and FAK mRNA in fibrotic rat liver tissue, and the relationship between FAK and hepatic stellate cell (HSC) proliferation.

METHODS: Rat hepatic fibrosis was induced by bile duct ligation (BDL). Histopathological changes were evaluated by hematoxylin and eosin staining, and by Masson’s trichrome method. FAK mRNA in the rat livers was determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and the distributions of FAK were assessed immunohistochemistrically. The number of activated HSCs was quantified after alpha smooth muscle actin (α -SMA) staining.

RESULTS: With the development of hepatic fibrosis, the positively stained cells of α -SMA increased obviously, which were mainly resided in the portal ducts, fiber septa and perisinuses accompanied with proliferating bile ducts. The positively stained areas of the rat livers in model groups 1 to 4 wk after ligation of common bile duct (12.88 ± 2.63%, 22.65 ± 2.16%, 27.45 ± 1.86%, 35.25 ± 2.34%, respectively) were significantly larger than those in the control group (5.88 ± 1.46%) (P < 0.01). The positive staining for FAK significantly increased, which was mainly situated in portal ducts, fiber septa and around the bile ducts, vascular endothelial cells and perisinusoidal cells. The expression of FAK was positively correlated with α -SMA expression (r = 0.963, P < 0.05). FAK mRNA expression was obviously up-regulated in the model groups compared to the control group.

CONCLUSION: These data suggest that expressions of FAK protein and mRNA are greatly increased in fibrotic rat livers, which may play an important role in HSC proliferation and hepatic fibrogenesis.

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