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      Measurement of CO3-610, a Potential Liver Biomarker Derived from Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Degradation of Collagen Type III, in a Rat Model of Reversible Carbon-Tetrachloride-Induced Fibrosis

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          Background and aim:

          The current study utilized a carbon tetrachloride (CCl 4)-induced liver fibrosis model to measure levels of the MMP9-mediated collagen type III degradation fragment CO3-610 (site of cleavage: KNGETGPQGP), during disease progression and regression, and to investigate a potential prognostic role of the biomarker.

          Materials and methods:

          72 female Sprague-Dawley rats aged 6 months old were injected with CCl 4 twice a week over different periods of time to induce varying degrees of liver fibrosis. After 4, 6 and 8 weeks of treatment, administration of CCl 4 was stopped. The 6- and 8-week treatment groups were left to regress for a further 6 or 12 weeks at which point they were sacrificed and livers removed and sectioned. Liver fibrosis was quantified using Visiopharm software to analyse Sirius red-stained sections. Serum levels of CO3-610 were measured in all animals using an ELISA assay as described by Barascuk et al. 1


          Quantitative histology revealed total collagen deposition in the liver increased as fibrosis progressed. In animals treated with CCl 4 for 4 weeks, collagen comprised on average 4.94% of the total tissue in liver sections, while after 6 weeks the mean was 8.25%, and after 8 weeks, 9.11%. During the regression phase, the total collagen deposition gradually decreased to a mean of 6.9% and 5.09% for animals regressing 6 and 12 weeks respectively after 6 weeks treatment, and 6.27% for animals regressed 12 weeks after 8 weeks treatment. CO3-610 values increased progressively in rats treated for 4 weeks (by a mean of 55.0 ng/ml), 6 weeks (mean 61.1 ng/ml) and 8 weeks (mean 70.2 ng/ml). During the regression phase, CO3-610 values rapidly decreased by a mean of 28.9 ng/ml at 6 weeks and 21.6 ng/ml at 12 weeks in animals previously treated for 6 weeks, and by a mean of 19.52 ng/ml in animals treated for 8 weeks and regressed for 12 weeks. CO3-610 levels were statistically significantly correlated with total collagen during disease progression ( r = 0.5701, P < 0.0001). No statistically significant correlation was observed during regression ( r = 0.2081, P = 0.1138).


          Levels of the MMP-9 generated fragment of collagen type III, CO3-610, correlated with the degree of liver fibrosis in rats during the progression phase, but were not correlated with total collagen levels during regression. CO3-610 seems to be produced only under the CCL 4 stimulus, and signifies CO3-610 as a potential marker of progression rather than regression. The corresponding steep elevations in levels of CO3-610 total collagen and collagen type III during liver fibrosis progression underline a potential prognostic capacity of the biomarker.

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          Most cited references 20

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          Liver fibrosis.

          Liver fibrosis is the excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins including collagen that occurs in most types of chronic liver diseases. Advanced liver fibrosis results in cirrhosis, liver failure, and portal hypertension and often requires liver transplantation. Our knowledge of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of liver fibrosis has greatly advanced. Activated hepatic stellate cells, portal fibroblasts, and myofibroblasts of bone marrow origin have been identified as major collagen-producing cells in the injured liver. These cells are activated by fibrogenic cytokines such as TGF-beta1, angiotensin II, and leptin. Reversibility of advanced liver fibrosis in patients has been recently documented, which has stimulated researchers to develop antifibrotic drugs. Emerging antifibrotic therapies are aimed at inhibiting the accumulation of fibrogenic cells and/or preventing the deposition of extracellular matrix proteins. Although many therapeutic interventions are effective in experimental models of liver fibrosis, their efficacy and safety in humans is unknown. This review summarizes recent progress in the study of the pathogenesis and diagnosis of liver fibrosis and discusses current antifibrotic strategies.
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            Mechanisms of hepatic fibrogenesis.

            Substantial improvements in the treatment of chronic liver disease have accelerated interest in uncovering the mechanisms underlying hepatic fibrosis and its resolution. Activation of resident hepatic stellate cells into proliferative, contractile, and fibrogenic cells in liver injury remains a dominant theme driving the field. However, several new areas of rapid progress in the past 5-10 years also have taken root, including: (1) identification of different fibrogenic populations apart from resident stellate cells, for example, portal fibroblasts, fibrocytes, and bone-marrow-derived cells, as well as cells derived from epithelial mesenchymal transition; (2) emergence of stellate cells as finely regulated determinants of hepatic inflammation and immunity; (3) elucidation of multiple pathways controlling gene expression during stellate cell activation including transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and epigenetic mechanisms; (4) recognition of disease-specific pathways of fibrogenesis; (5) re-emergence of hepatic macrophages as determinants of matrix degradation in fibrosis resolution and the importance of matrix cross-linking and scar maturation in determining reversibility; and (6) hints that hepatic stellate cells may contribute to hepatic stem cell behavior, cancer, and regeneration. Clinical and translational implications of these advances have become clear, and have begun to impact significantly on the management and outlook of patients with chronic liver disease.
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              Birth and death of bone cells: basic regulatory mechanisms and implications for the pathogenesis and treatment of osteoporosis.

              The adult skeleton regenerates by temporary cellular structures that comprise teams of juxtaposed osteoclasts and osteoblasts and replace periodically old bone with new. A considerable body of evidence accumulated during the last decade has shown that the rate of genesis of these two highly specialized cell types, as well as the prevalence of their apoptosis, is essential for the maintenance of bone homeostasis; and that common metabolic bone disorders such as osteoporosis result largely from a derangement in the birth or death of these cells. The purpose of this article is 3-fold: 1) to review the role and the molecular mechanism of action of regulatory molecules, such as cytokines and hormones, in osteoclast and osteoblast birth and apoptosis; 2) to review the evidence for the contribution of changes in bone cell birth or death to the pathogenesis of the most common forms of osteoporosis; and 3) to highlight the implications of bone cell birth and death for a better understanding of the mechanism of action and efficacy of present and future pharmacotherapeutic agents for osteoporosis.

                Author and article information

                Biomark Insights
                Biomark Insights
                Biomarker Insights
                Libertas Academica
                24 March 2011
                : 6
                : 49-58
                [1 ]Nordic Bioscience, Herlev, Denmark.
                [2 ]University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
                [3 ]University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
                Author notes
                Corresponding author email: eva@
                © the author(s), publisher and licensee Libertas Academica Ltd.

                This is an open access article. Unrestricted non-commercial use is permitted provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Research

                Clinical chemistry

                liver, biomarkers, fibrosis, ccl4, collagen, co3-610, extracellular matrix


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