Published online Jun 15, 2001. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v7.i3.363
Revised: February 3, 2001
Accepted: February 12, 2001
Published online: June 15, 2001
AIM: To observe the inhibition of antisense oligonucleotides (asON) phosphorthioate to the tissue inhibitors metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) gene and protein expression in the liver tissue of immunologically induced hepatic fibrosis rats. The possibility of reversing hepatic fibrosis through gene therapy was observed.
METHODS: Human serum albumin (HSA) was used to attack rats, as hepatic fibrosis model, in which asONs were used to block the gene and protein expressing TIMP-1. According to the analysis of modulator, structure protein, coding series of TIMP-1 genome, we designed four different asONs. These asONs were injected into the hepatic fibrosis models through coccygeal vein. The results was observed by RT-PCR for measuring TIMP-1 mRNA expression, immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization for collagen I, III, special staining of collagen fiber, and electron microscopic examination.
RESULTS: Hepatic fibrosis could last within 363 days in our modified model. The expressing level of TIMP-1 was high during hepatic fibrosis process. It has been proved by the immunohistochemical and the electron microscopic examination that the asON phosphorthioate of TIMP-1 could exactly express in vivo. The effect of colchicine was demonstrated to inhibit the expressing level of mRNA and the content of collagen I, III in the liver of experimental hepatic fibrosis rats. However, the electron microscopy research and the pathologic grading of hepatic fibrosis showed that there was no significant difference between the treatment group and the model group (P > 0.05).
CONCLUSION: The experimental rat model of hepatic fibrosis is one of the preferable models to estimate the curative effect of anti-hepatic fibrosis drugs. The asON phosphorthioate of TIMP-1 could block the gene and protein expression of TIMP-1 in the liver of experimental hepatic fibrosis rats at the mRNA level. It is possible to reverse hepatic fibrosis, and it is expected to study a new drug of anti-hepatic fibrosis on the genetic level. Colchicine has very limited therapeutic effect on hepatic fibrosis, furthermore, its toxicity and side effects are obvious.