Nuestros investigadores

Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Ortigosa

Publicaciones científicas más recientes (desde 2010)

Autores: Santa María, Eva; Rodríguez, Carlos Manuel; Uriarte, Iker; et al.
ISSN 0270-9139  Vol. 69  Nº 4  2019  págs. 1632 - 1647
Intrahepatic accumulation of bile acids (BAs) causes hepatocellular injury. Upon liver damage, a potent protective response is mounted to restore the organ's function. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling is essential for regeneration after most types of liver damage, including cholestatic injury. However, EGFR can be activated by a family of growth factors induced during liver injury and regeneration. We evaluated the role of the EGFR ligand, amphiregulin (AREG), during cholestatic liver injury and regulation of AREG expression by BAs. First, we demonstrated increased AREG levels in livers from patients with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). In two murine models of cholestatic liver injury, bile duct ligation (BDL) and alpha-naphthyl-isothiocyanate (ANIT) gavage, hepatic AREG expression was markedly up-regulated. Importantly, Areg(-/-) mice showed aggravated liver injury after BDL and ANIT administration compared to Areg(+/+) mice. Recombinant AREG protected from ANIT and BDL-induced liver injury and reduced BA-triggered apoptosis in liver cells. Oral BA administration induced ileal and hepatic Areg expression, and, interestingly, cholestyramine feeding reduced postprandial Areg up-regulation in both tissues. Most interestingly, Areg(-/-) mice displayed high hepatic cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase (CYP7A1) expression, reduced serum cholesterol, and high BA levels. Postprandial repression of Cyp7a1 was impaired in Areg(-/-) mice, and recombinant AREG down-regulated Cyp7a1 mRNA in hepatocytes. On the other hand, BAs promoted AREG gene expression and protein shedding in hepatocytes. This effect was mediated through the farnesoid X receptor (FXR), as demonstrated in Fxr(-/-) mice, and involved EGFR transactivation. Finally, we show that hepatic EGFR expression is indirectly induced by BA-FXR through activation of suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (SOC3). Conclusion: AREG-EGFR signaling protects from cholestatic injury and participates in the physiological regulation of BA synthesis.
Autores: Caruso, S. ; Llerena, S. ; Alvarez-Sola, G. ; et al.
ISSN 0270-9139  Vol. 69  Nº 2  2019  págs. 587 - 603
Epigenetic modifications such as DNA and histone methylation functionally cooperate in fostering tumor growth, including that of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Pharmacological targeting of these mechanisms may open new therapeutic avenues. We aimed to determine the therapeutic efficacy and potential mechanism of action of our dual G9a histone-methyltransferase and DNA-methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) inhibitor in human HCC cells and their crosstalk with fibrogenic cells. The expression of G9a and DNMT1, along with that of their molecular adaptor ubiquitin-like with PHD and RING finger domains-1 (UHRF1), was measured in human HCCs (n = 268), peritumoral tissues (n = 154), and HCC cell lines (n = 32). We evaluated the effect of individual and combined inhibition of G9a and DNMT1 on HCC cell growth by pharmacological and genetic approaches. The activity of our lead compound, CM-272, was examined in HCC cells under normoxia and hypoxia, human hepatic stellate cells and LX2 cells, and xenograft tumors formed by HCC or combined HCC+LX2 cells. We found a significant and correlative overexpression of G9a, DNMT1, and UHRF1 in HCCs in association with poor prognosis. Independent G9a and DNMT1 pharmacological targeting synergistically inhibited HCC cell growth. CM-272 potently reduced HCC and LX2 cells proliferation and quelled tumor growth, particularly in HCC+LX2 xenografts. Mechanistically, CM-272 inhibited the metabolic adaptation of HCC cells to hypoxia and induced a differentiated phenotype in HCC and fibrogenic cells. The expression of the metabolic tumor suppressor gene fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (FBP1), epigenetically repressed in HCC, was restored by CM-272. Conclusion: Combined targeting of G9a/DNMT1 with compounds such as CM-272 is a promising strategy for HCC treatment. Our findings also underscore the potential of differentiation therapy in HCC.
Autores: Urtasun, R.; Elizalde, M.; et al.
ISSN 0305-1048  Vol. 47  Nº 7  2019  págs. 3450 - 3466
Genome instability is related to disease development and carcinogenesis. DNA lesions are caused by genotoxic compounds but also by the dysregulation of fundamental processes like transcription, DNA replication and mitosis. Recent evidence indicates that impaired expression of RNA-binding proteins results in mitotic aberrations and the formation of transcription-associated RNA-DNA hybrids (R-loops), events strongly associated with DNA injury. We identify the splicing regulator SLU7 as a key mediator of genome stability. SLU7 knockdown results in R-loops formation, DNA damage, cell-cycle arrest and severe mitotic derangements with loss of sister chromatid cohesion (SCC). We define a molecular pathway through which SLU7 keeps in check the generation of truncated forms of the splicing factor SRSF3 (SRp20) (SRSF3-TR). Behaving as dominant negative, or by gain-of-function, SRSF3-TR impair the correct splicing and expression of the splicing regulator SRSF1 (ASF/SF2) and the crucial SCC protein sororin. This unique function of SLU7 was found in cancer cells of different tissue origin and also in the normal mouse liver, demonstrating a conserved and fundamental role of SLU7 in the preservation of genome integrity. Therefore, the dowregulation of SLU7 and the alterations of this pathway that we observe in the cirrhotic liver could be involved in the process of hepatocarcinogenesis.
Autores: Alvarez-Sole, G.; Uriarte, Iker; Latasa, María Ujué; et al.
ISSN 0925-4439  Vol. 1864  Nº 4  2018  págs. 1326 - 1334
The liver has an extraordinary regenerative capacity rapidly triggered upon injury or resection. This response is intrinsically adjusted in its initiation and termination, a property termed the "hepatostat". Several molecules have been involved in liver regeneration, and among them bile acids may play a central role. Intrahepatic levels of bile acids rapidly increase after resection. Through the activation of farnesoid X receptor (FXR), bile acids regulate their hepatic metabolism and also promote hepatocellular proliferation. FXR is also expressed in em terocytes, where bile acids stimulate the expression of fibroblast growth factor 15/19 (FGF15/19), which is released to the portal blood. Through the activation of FGFR4 on hepatocytes FGF15/19 regulates bile acids synthesis and finely tunes liver regeneration as part of the "hepatostat". Here we review the experimental evidences supporting the relevance of the FXR-FGF15/19-FGFR4 axis in liver regeneration and discuss potential therapeutic applications of PGF15/19 in the prevention of liver failure. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cholangiocytes in Health and Disease edited by Jesus Banales, Marco Marzioni, Nicholas LaRusso and Peter Jansen.
Autores: Chaparro, M., (Autor de correspondencia); Verreth, A.; Lobaton, T.; et al.
ISSN 0002-9270  Vol. 113  Nº 3  2018  págs. 396 - 403
OBJECTIVES: The long-term safety of exposure to anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF alpha) drugs during pregnancy has received little attention. We aimed to compare the relative risk of severe infections in children of mothers with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who were exposed to anti-TNF alpha drugs in utero with that of children who were not exposed to the drugs. METHODS: Retrospective multicenter cohort study. Exposed cohort: children from mothers with IBD receiving anti-TNF alpha medication (with or without thiopurines) at any time during pregnancy or during the 3 months before conception. Non-exposed cohort: children from mothers with IBD not treated with anti-TNF alpha agents or thiopurines at any time during pregnancy or the 3 months before conception. The cumulative incidence of severe infections after birth was estimated using Kaplan-Meier curves, which were compared using the log-rank test. Cox-regression analysis was performed to identify potential predictive factors for severe infections in the offspring. RESULTS: The study population comprised 841 children, of whom 388 (46%) had been exposed to anti-TNF alpha agents. Median follow-up after delivery was 47 months in the exposed group and 68 months in the non-exposed group. Both univariate and multivariate analysis showed the incidence rate of severe infections to be similar in non-exposed and exposed children (1.6% vs. 2.8% per person-year, hazard ratio 1.2 (95% confidence interval 0.8-1.8)). In the multivariate analysis, preterm delivery was the only variable associated with a higher risk of severe infection (2.5% (1.5-4.3)). CONCLUSIONS: In utero exposure to anti-TNF alpha drugs does not seem to be associated with increased short-term or long-term risk of severe infections in children.
Autores: Lorente, Silvia; Martinez-Fernandez, L.; et al.
ISSN 0307-0565  Vol. 42  Nº 3  2018  págs. 572 - 579
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to characterize the effects of Maresin 1 (MaR1) in obesity-related liver steatosis and the mechanisms involved. METHODS: MaR1 effects on fatty liver disease were tested in ob/ob (2-10 mu g kg(-1) i.p., 20 days) and in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice (2 mu g kg(-1), i.p., or 50 mu g kg(-1), oral gavage for 10 days), as well as in cultured hepatocytes. RESULTS: In ob/ob mice, MaR1 reduced liver triglycerides (TG) content, fatty acid synthase (FAS) and stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 protein expression, while increased acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) phosphorylation and LC3II protein expression, in parallel with a drop in p62 levels. Similar effects on hepatic TG, ACC phosphorylation, p62 and LC3II were observed in DIO mice after MaR1 i.p. injection. Interestingly, oral gavage of MaR1 also decreased serum transaminases, reduced liver weight and TG content. MaR1-treated mice exhibited reduced hepatic lipogenic enzymes content (FAS) or activation (by phosphorylation of ACC), accompanied by upregulation of carnitine palmitoyltransferase (Cpt1a), acyl-coenzyme A oxidase (Acox1) and autophagy-related proteins 5 and 7 (Atg5-7) gene expression, along with increased number of autophagic vacuoles and reduced p62 protein levels. MaR1 also induced AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation in DIO mice and in primary hepatocytes, and AMPK inhibition completely blocked MaR1 effects on Cpt1a, Acox1, Atg5 and Atg7 expression. CONCLUSIONS: MaR1 ameliorates liver steatosis by decreasing lipogenic enzymes, while inducing fatty acid oxidation genes and autophagy, which could be related to AMPK activation. Thus, MaR1 may be a new therapeutic candidate for reducing fatty liver in obesity.
Autores: Santamaria, E. ; Rodríguez, Carlos Manuel; Uriarte, Iker; et al.
ISSN 0168-8278  Vol. 68  Nº Supl. 1  2018  págs. S74 - S74
Autores: Álvarez-Sola, G.; Uriarte, Iker; Latasa, María Ujué; et al.
Revista: GUT
ISSN 0017-5749  Vol. 66  Nº 10  2017  págs. 1818 - 1828
Objective Fibroblast growth factor 15/19 (FGF15/19), an enterokine that regulates synthesis of hepatic bile acids (BA), has been proposed to influence fat metabolism. Without FGF15/19, mouse liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy (PH) is severely impaired. We studied the role of FGF15/19 in response to a high fat diet (HFD) and its regulation by saturated fatty acids. We developed a fusion molecule encompassing FGF19 and apolipoprotein A-I, termed Fibapo, and evaluated its pharmacological properties in fatty liver regeneration. Design Fgf15¿/¿ mice were fed a HFD. Liver fat and the expression of fat metabolism and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-related genes were measured. Influence of palmitic acid (PA) on FGF15/19 expression was determined in mice and in human liver cell lines. In vivo half-life and biological activity of Fibapo and FGF19 were compared. Hepatoprotective and proregenerative activities of Fibapo were evaluated in obese db/db mice undergoing PH. Results Hepatosteatosis and ER stress were exacerbated in HFD-fed Fgf15¿/¿ mice. Hepatic expression of Ppar¿2 was elevated in Fgf15¿/¿ mice, being reversed by FGF19 treatment. PA induced FGF15/19 expression in mouse ileum and human liver cells, and FGF19 protected from PA-mediated ER stress and cytotoxicity. Fibapo reduced liver BA and lipid accumulation, inhibited ER stress and showed enhanced half-life. Fibapo provided increased db/db mice survival and improved regeneration upon PH. Conclusions FGF15/19 is essential for hepatic metabolic adaptation to dietary fat being a physiological regulator of Ppar¿2 expression. Perioperative administration of Fibapo improves fatty liver regeneration.
Autores: Alvarez-Sola, G.; Uriarte, Iker; Latasa, María Ujué; et al.
ISSN 2041-4889  Vol. 8  Nº 10  2017  págs. e3083
The liver displays a remarkable regenerative capacity triggered upon tissue injury or resection. However, liver regeneration can be overwhelmed by excessive parenchymal destruction or diminished by pre-existing conditions hampering repair. Fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19, rodent FGF15) is an enterokine that regulates liver bile acid and lipid metabolism, and stimulates hepatocellular protein synthesis and proliferation. FGF19/15 is also important for liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy (PH). Therefore recombinant FGF19 would be an ideal molecule to stimulate liver regeneration, but its applicability may be curtailed by its short half-life. We developed a chimaeric molecule termed Fibapo in which FGF19 is covalently coupled to apolipoprotein A-I. Fibapo retains FGF19 biological activities but has significantly increased half-life and hepatotropism. Here we evaluated the pro-regenerative activity of Fibapo in two clinically relevant models where liver regeneration may be impaired: acetaminophen (APAP) poisoning, and PH in aged mice. The only approved therapy for APAP intoxication is N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and no drugs are available to stimulate liver regeneration. We demonstrate that Fibapo reduced liver injury and boosted regeneration in APAP-intoxicated mice. Fibapo improved survival of APAP-poisoned mice when given at later time points, when NAC is ineffective. Mechanistically, Fibapo accelerated recovery of hepatic glutathione levels, potentiated cell growth-related pathways and increased functional liver mass. When Fibapo was administered to old mice prior to PH, liver regeneration was markedly increased. The exacerbated injury developing in these mice upon PH was attenuated, and the hepatic biosynthetic capacity was enhanced. Fibapo reversed metabolic and molecular alterations that impede regeneration in aged livers. It reduced liver steatosis and downregulated p21 and hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 a (Hnf4a) levels, whereas it stimulated Foxm1b gene expression. Together our findings indicate that FGF19 variants retaining the metabolic and growth-promoting effects of this enterokine may be valuable for the stimulation of liver regeneration.
Autores: Alvarez-Sola, G.; Uriarte, Iker; Latasa, María Ujué; et al.
ISSN 0257-2753  Vol. 35  Nº 3  2017  págs. 158 - 165
Background: Advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a neoplastic disease with a very bad prognosis and increasing worldwide incidence. HCCs are resistant to conventional chemotherapy and the multikinase inhibitor sorafenib is the only agent that has shown some clinical efficacy. It is therefore important to identify key molecular mechanisms driving hepatocarcinogenesis for the development of more efficacious therapies. However, HCCs are heterogeneous tumors and different molecular subclasses have been characterized. This heterogeneity may underlie the poor performance of most of the targeted therapies so far tested in HCC patients. The fibroblast growth factor 15/19 (FGF15/19), FGF receptor 4 (FGFR4) and beta-Klotho (KLB) correceptor signaling system, a key regulator of bile acids (BA) synthesis and intermediary metabolism, is emerging as an important player in hepatocarcinogenesis. Key Messages: Aberrant signaling through the FGF15/19-FGFR4 pathway participates in the neoplastic behavior of HCC cells, promotes HCC development in mice and its overexpression has been characterized in a subset of HCC tumors from patients with poorer prognosis. Pharmacological interference with FGF15/19-FGFR4 signaling inhibits experimental hepatocarcinogenesis, and specific FGFR4 inhibitors are currently being tested in selected HCC patients with tumoral FGF19-FGFR4/KLB expression. Conclusions: Interference with FGF19-FGFR4 signaling represents a novel strategy in HCC therapy. Selection of candidate patients based on tumoral FGF19-FGFR4/KLB levels as biomarkers may result in increased efficacy of FGFR4-targeted drugs. Nevertheless, attention should be paid to the potential on target toxic effects of FGFR4 inhibitors due to the key role of this signaling system in BA metabolism. (C) 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel
Autores: Alvarez Sola, G. ; Uriarte, Iker; Latasa, María Ujué; et al.
ISSN 0168-8278  Vol. 64  Nº Supl. 2  2016  págs. S184
Autores: Barbero, R.; Rodríguez, Carlos Manuel; Pérez-Vizcaíno, F.; et al.
Revista: PLOS ONE
ISSN 1932-6203  Vol. 8  Nº 1  2013  págs. e52683
Zolmitriptan reduces portal hypertension and non-selective beta-blockers can improve this effect. Combination therapy deserves consideration for patients with portal hypertension failing to respond to non-selective beta-blockers.
Autores: Sokolovic, A.; Rodríguez, Carlos Manuel; Bloemendaal, L.T.; et al.
ISSN 1388-1981  Vol. 1832  Nº 6  2013  págs. 697-704
Adamant progression of chronic cholangiopathies towards cirrhosis and limited therapeutic options leave a liver transplantation the only effective treatment. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) effectively blocks fibrosis in acute models of liver damage in mice, and a phase I clinical trial suggested an improved liver function. IGF1 targets the biliary epithelium, but its potential benefit in chronic cholangiopathies has not been studied. To investigate the possible therapeutic effect of increased IGF1 expression, we crossed Abcb4¿/¿ mice (a model for chronic cholangiopathy), with transgenic animals that overexpress IGF1. The effect on disease progression was studied in the resulting IGF1-overexpressing Abcb4¿/¿ mice, and compared to that of Abcb4¿/¿ littermates. The specificity of this effect was further studied in an acute model of fibrosis. The overexpression of IGF1 in transgenic Abcb4¿/¿ mice resulted in stimulation of fibrogenic processes ¿ as shown by increased expression of Tgfß, and collagens 1, 3 and 4, and confirmed by Sirius red staining and hydroxyproline measurements. Excessive extracellular matrix deposition was favored by raise in Timp1 and Timp2, while a reduction of tPA expression indicated lower tissue remodeling. These effects were accompanied by an increase in expression of inflammation markers like Tnf¿, and higher presence of infiltrating macrophages. Finally, increased number of Ck19-expressing cells indicated proliferation of biliary epithelium. In contrast to liver fibrosis associated with hepatocellular damage, IGF1 overexpression does not inhibit liver fibrogenesis in chronic cholangiopathy.
Autores: Rodríguez, Carlos Manuel; et al.
ISSN 0969-7128  Vol. 19  Nº 4  2012  págs. 411 - 417
In liver cirrhosis, abnormal liver architecture impairs efficient transduction of hepatocytes with large viral vectors such as adenoviruses. Here we evaluated the ability of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors, small viral vectors, to transduce normal and cirrhotic rat livers. Using AAV serotype-1 (AAV1) encoding luciferase (AAV1Luc) we analyzed luciferase expression with a CCD camera. AAV1Luc was injected through the hepatic artery (intra-arterial (IA)), the portal vein (intra-portal (IP)), directly into the liver (intra-hepatic (IH)) or infused into the biliary tree (intra-biliar). We found that AAV1Luc allows long-term and constant luciferase expression in rat livers. Interestingly, IP administration leads to higher expression levels in healthy than in cirrhotic livers, whereas the opposite occurs when using IA injection. IH administration leads to similar transgene expression in cirrhotic and healthy rats, whereas intra-biliar infusion is the least effective route. After 70% partial hepatectomy, luciferase expression decreased in the regenerating liver, suggesting lack of efficient integration of AAV1 DNA into the host genome. AAV1Luc transduced mainly the liver but also the testes and spleen. Within the liver, transgene expression was found mainly in hepatocytes. Using a liver-specific promoter, transgene expression was detected in hepatocytes but not in other organs. Our results indicate that AAVs are convenient vectors for the treatment of liver cirrhosis.
Autores: Monte, MJ; Latasa, María Ujué; et al.
ISSN 0168-8278  Vol. 56  Nº 2  2012  págs. 367 - 373
Background & Aims Bile acids (BA) are increasingly recognized as important modulators of liver regeneration. Increased enterohepatic BA flux has been proposed to generate specific signals that activate hepatocyte proliferation after partial hepatectomy (PH). We have investigated the role of the BA membrane transporter Mrp3 (Abcc3), which is expressed in the liver and gut, in the hepatic growth response elicited by BA and in liver regeneration after PH. Methods Liver growth and regeneration, and the expression of growth-related genes, were studied in Mrp3+/+ and Mrp3¿/¿ mice fed a cholic acid (CA) supplemented diet and after 2/3 PH. Activation of the BA receptor FXR was measured in mice after in vivo transduction of the liver with a FXR-Luciferase reporter plasmid. BA levels were measured in portal serum and liver tissue by high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Results Liver growth elicited by CA feeding was significantly reduced in Mrp3¿/¿ mice. These animals showed reduced FXR activation in the liver after CA administration and decreased portal serum levels of BA. Liver regeneration after PH was significantly delayed in Mrp3-deficient mice. Proliferation-related gene expression and peak DNA synthesis in Mrp3¿/¿ mice occurred later than in wild types, coinciding with a retarded elevation in intra-hepatic BA levels. Conclusions Lack of Abcc3 expression markedly impairs liver growth in response to BA and after PH. Our data suggest that Mrp3 plays a non-redundant role in the regulation of BA flux during liver regeneration.
Autores: Uriarte, Iker; De Barrena, M. G. F; Monte, M. J; et al.
ISSN 0168-8278  Vol. 56  2012  págs. S29-S29
Autores: Rodríguez, Carlos Manuel; Romero-Trevejo, JL; et al.
Revista: Hepatology
ISSN 0270-9139  Vol. 51  Nº 3  2010  págs. 912 - 921
We investigated whether gene transfer of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) to the hepatic tissue was able to improve liver histology and function in established liver cirrhosis. Rats with liver cirrhosis induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) given orally for 8 weeks were injected through the hepatic artery with saline or with Simian virus 40 vectors encoding IGF-I (SVIGF-I), or luciferase (SVLuc). Animals were sacrificed 8 weeks after vector injection. In cirrhotic rats we observed that, whereas IGF-I was synthesized by hepatocytes, IGF-I receptor was predominantly expressed by nonparenchymal cells, mainly in fibrous septa surrounding hepatic nodules. Rats treated with SVIGF-I showed increased hepatic levels of IGF-I, improved liver function tests, and reduced fibrosis in association with diminished ¿-smooth muscle actin expression, up-regulation of matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) and decreased expression of the tissue inhibitors of MMPs TIM-1 and TIM-2. SVIGF-I therapy induced down-regulation of the profibrogenic molecules transforming growth factor beta (TGFß), amphiregulin, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), and vascular endothelium growth factor (VEGF) and induction of the antifibrogenic and cytoprotective hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). Furthermore, SVIGF-I-treated animals showed decreased expression of Wilms tumor-1 (WT-1; a nuclear factor involved in hepatocyte dedifferentiation) and up-regulation of hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha (HNF4¿) (which stimulates hepatocellular differentiation). The therapeutic potential of SVIGF-I was also tested in rats with thioacetamide-induced liver cirrhosis. Also in this model, SVIGF-I improved liver function and reduced liver fibrosis in association with up-regulation of HGF and MMPs and down-regulation of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP-1). Conclusion: IGF-I gene transfer to cirrhotic livers induces MMPs and hepatoprotective factors leading to reversion of fibrosis and improvement of liver function. IGF-I gene therapy may be a useful alternative therapy for patients with advanced cirrhosis without timely access to liver transplantation.
Autores: Rodríguez, Carlos Manuel; Bañales, Jesús María; Uriarte, Iker; et al.
Revista: Hepatology
ISSN 0270-9139  Vol. 52  Nº 2  2010  págs. 667 - 677
Autores: Latasa, María Ujué; Gil, Maria del Carmen; et al.
Revista: PLoS One
ISSN 1932-6203  Vol. 5  Nº 12  2010  págs. e15690
Background: Inflammation and fibrogenesis are directly related to chronic liver disease progression, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development. Currently there are few therapeutic options available to inhibit liver fibrosis. We have evaluated the hepatoprotective and anti-fibrotic potential of orally-administered 59-methylthioadenosine (MTA) in Mdr2(-/-) mice, a clinically relevant model of sclerosing cholangitis and spontaneous biliary fibrosis, followed at later stages by HCC development. Methodology: MTA was administered daily by gavage to wild type and Mdr2(-/-) mice for three weeks. MTA anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects and potential mechanisms of action were examined in the liver of Mdr2(-/-) mice with ongoing fibrogenesis and in cultured liver fibrogenic cells (myofibroblasts). Principal Findings: MTA treatment reduced hepatomegaly and liver injury. alpha-Smooth muscle actin immunoreactivity and collagen deposition were also significantly decreased. Inflammatory infiltrate, the expression of the cytokines IL6 and Mcp-1, pro-fibrogenic factors like TGF beta 2 and tenascin-C, as well as pro-fibrogenic intracellular signalling pathways were reduced by MTA in vivo. MTA inhibited the activation and proliferation of isolated myofibroblasts and down-regulated cyclin D1 gene expression at the transcriptional level. The expression of JunD, a key transcription factor in liver fibrogenesis, was also reduced by MTA in activated myofibroblasts. Conclusions/Significance: Oral MTA administration was well tolerated and proved its efficacy in reducing liver inflammation and fibrosis. MTA may have multiple molecular and cellular targets. These include the inhibition of inflammatory and profibrogenic cytokines, as well as the attenuation of myofibroblast activation and proliferation. Downregulation of JunD and cyclin D1 expression in myofibroblasts may be important regarding the mechanism of action of MTA. This compound could be a good candidate to be tested for the treatment of (biliary) liver fibrosis.