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The effects of the selective mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist eplerenone on hepatic fibrosis induced by bile duct ligation in rat

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The aim of this study was to examine the effects of eplerenone on hepatic fibrosis induced by bile duct ligation (BDL) in rat. Low- (1.0 mg/kg body weight, BW) and high- (4.0 mg/kg BW) dose eplerenone was administered orally for 21 days immediately following BDL. Fibrosis was assessed by measuring the fibrotic area after Sirius red staining. Immunostaining for α-smooth muscle actin (SMA), 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE) and 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) was also carried out. Gene expression levels of procollagen-I, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) and matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP-13) in the liver were examined by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Plasma angiotensin II (ATII) concentration was measured via radioimmunoassay. The area of hepatic fibrosis and α-SMA positivity in the high-dose group was significantly decreased compared with that in the BDL group, but not in the low-dose group. 8-OHdG-positive cells in the low- and high-dose groups were significantly decreased compared with those in the BDL group. Immunostaining of 4-HNE in the high-dose group was significantly lower compared with that in the BDL group. Furthermore, TIMP-1 mRNA levels in the low- and high-dose groups were lower than that in the BDL group. The expression of TGF-β1, CTGF, procollagen-1 and MMP-13 showed no differences. Plasma ATII concentration in the high-dose group was significantly decreased. Eplerenone attenuated the development of BDL-induced hepatic fibrosis by reducing oxidative stress, suppressing activated hepatic stellate cells and decreasing plasma ATII levels. Eplerenone may prove useful as an alternative treatment for antifibrosis therapy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Medicine and Clinical Science, Department of Multidisciplinary Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University, Yonago 683-8504, Japan

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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