Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.533, No.4, 770-778, 2020
Microcystin-leucine-arginine induces liver fi brosis by activating the Hedgehog pathway in hepatic stellate cells
Microcystin-leucine-arginine (MC-LR), produced by cyanobacteria, accumulates in the liver through blood circulation. We investigated the impact of MC-LR on liver fibrosis. Mice received a daily injection of MC-LR at various concentrations for 14 consecutive days aa and then mouse liver was obtained for histopathological and immunoblot analysis. Next, a human hepatic stellate cell line (LX-2) was treated with MC-LR at various concentrations followed by measurement of cell viability, cell cycle and relevant protein expression levels. Our data confirmed the induction of mouse liver fibrosis after exposure to MCLR at 15 mu g/kg and 30 mu g/kg. Furthermore, we demonstrated that LX-2 cells could uptake MC-LR, resulting in cell proliferation and differentiation through impacting the Hedgehog signaling after the treatment of MC-LR at 50 nM. Our data supported that MC-LR could induce liver fibrosis by modulating the expression of the transcription factor Gli2 in the Hedgehog signaling in hepatic stellate cells. (c) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.