Original Article
Copyright ©2011 Baishideng Publishing Group Co., Limited. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Dec 14, 2011; 17(46): 5075-5082
Published online Dec 14, 2011. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i46.5075
Osteopontin expression is associated with hepatopathologic changes in Schistosoma japonicum infected mice
Bo-Lin Chen, Gui-Ying Zhang, Wei-Jian Yuan, Shi-Ping Wang, Yue-Ming Shen, Lu Yan, Huan Gu, Jia Li
Bo-Lin Chen, Gui-Ying Zhang, Wei-Jian Yuan, Lu Yan, Huan Gu, Jia Li, Department of Gastroenterology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha 410008, Hunan Province, China
Shi-Ping Wang, Department of Pathogenic Biology, College of Xiangya Basic Medicine, Central South University, Changsha 410008, Hunan Province, China
Yue-Ming Shen, Department of Gastroenterology, Changsha Central Hospital, Changsha 410004, Hunan Province, China
Author contributions: Chen BL designed the research, performed the majority of the experiments, and wrote the manuscript; Zhang GY guided the research; Wang SP provided many facilities in animal modeling; Yuan WJ was involved in editing the manuscript; Shen YM, Yan L, Gu H, and Li J helped perform the research and participated in data analysis.
Supported by Grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 81072038/H1617
Correspondence to: Gui-Ying Zhang, Dr., Department of Gastroenterology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha 410008, Hunan Province, China. guiyingzhang@hotmail.com
Telephone: +86-0731-84327282 Fax: +86-0731-84327321
Received: January 11, 2011
Revised: June 9, 2011
Accepted: June 16, 2011
Published online: December 14, 2011

AIM: To investigate osteopontin expression and its association with hepatopathologic changes in BALB/C mice infected with Schistosoma japonicum.

METHODS: The schistosomal hepatopathologic mouse model was established by abdominal infection with schistosomal cercaria. Liver samples were obtained from mice sacrificed at 6, 8, 10, 14, and 18 wk after infection. Liver histopathological changes were observed with hematoxylin-eosin and Masson trichrome staining. The expression of osteopontin was determined with immunohistochemistry, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and Western blotting. The expression of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) were determined by immunohistochemistry. Correlations of osteopontin expression with other variables (α-SMA, TGF-β1, hepatopathologic features including granuloma formation and degree of liver fibrosis) were analyzed.

RESULTS: Typical schistosomal hepatopathologic changes were induced in the animals. Dynamic changes in the expression of osteopontin were observed at week 6. The expression increased, peaked at week 10 (P < 0.01), and then gradually decreased. Positive correlations between osteopontin expression and α-SMA (r = 0.720, P < 0.01), TGF-β1 (r = 0.905, P < 0.01), granuloma formation (r = 0.875, P < 0.01), and degree of liver fibrosis (r = 0.858, P < 0.01) were also observed.

CONCLUSION: Osteopontin may play an important role in schistosomal hepatopathology and may promote granuloma formation and liver fibrosis through an unexplored mechanism.

Keywords: Schistosoma japonicum, Granuloma, Liver fibrosis, Osteopontin, BALB/C mice