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      Fluvastatin attenuates hepatic steatosis-induced fibrogenesis in rats through inhibiting paracrine effect of hepatocyte on hepatic stellate cells

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          Abstract

          Background

          Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is associated with hepatic fibrogenesis. Despite well-known cholesterol-lowering action of statins, their mechanisms against NASH-mediated fibrogenesis remain unclear. This study aimed at investigating the in vitro and in vivo anti-fibrotic properties of fluvastatin (Flu).

          Methods

          Palmitate (PA)-induced changes in intracellular hydrogen peroxide levels in primary rat hepatocytes (PRHs) and human hepatoma cell line (HepG2) were quantified by dichlorofluorescein diacetate (DCF-DA) dye assay, whereas changes in expressions of NADPH oxidase gp91 phox subunit, α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), and NFκB p65 nuclear translocation were quantified with Western blotting. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR) was used to investigate mRNA expressions of pro-inflammatory genes (ICAM-1, IL-6, TNF-α). Conditioned medium (CM) from PA-treated PRHs was applied to cultured rat hepatic stellate cell line, HSC-T6, with or without Flu-pretreatment for 2 h. Pro-fibrogenic gene expressions (COL1, TIMP-1, TGF-β1, α-SMA) and protein expression of α-SMA were analyzed. In vivo study using choline-deficient L-amino acid defined (CDAA) diet-induced rat NASH model was performed by randomly assigning Wistar rats (n = 28) to normal controls (n = 4), CDAA diet with vehicles, and CDAA diet with Flu (5 mg/kg or 10 mg/kg) (n = 8 each) through gavage for 4 or 8 weeks. Livers were harvested for histological, Western blot (α-SMA), and q-PCR analyses for expressions of pro-inflammatory (IL-6, iNOS, ICAM-1) and pro-fibrogenic (Col1, α-SMA, TIMP-1) genes.

          Results

          In vitro, Flu (1–20 μM) inhibited PA-induced free-radical production, gp91 phox expression, and NFκB p65 translocation in HepG2 and PRHs, while CM-induced α-SMA protein expression and pro-fibrogenic gene expressions in HSC-T6 were suppressed in Flu-pretreated cells compared to those without pretreatment. Moreover, α-SMA protein expression was significantly decreased in HSC-T6 cultured with CM from PA-Flu-treated PRHs compared to those cultured with CM from PA-treated PRHs. Flu also reduced steatosis and fibrosis scores, α-SMA protein expression, mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrogenic genes in livers of CDAA rats.

          Conclusions

          We demonstrated PA-induced HSC activation through paracrine effect of hepatocyte in vitro that was significantly suppressed by pre-treating HSC with Flu. In vivo, Flu alleviated steatosis-induced HSC activation and hepatic fibrogenesis through mitigating inflammation and oxidative stress, suggesting possible therapeutic role of Flu against NASH.

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          Most cited references 38

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          Design and validation of a histological scoring system for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

          Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by hepatic steatosis in the absence of a history of significant alcohol use or other known liver disease. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the progressive form of NAFLD. The Pathology Committee of the NASH Clinical Research Network designed and validated a histological feature scoring system that addresses the full spectrum of lesions of NAFLD and proposed a NAFLD activity score (NAS) for use in clinical trials. The scoring system comprised 14 histological features, 4 of which were evaluated semi-quantitatively: steatosis (0-3), lobular inflammation (0-2), hepatocellular ballooning (0-2), and fibrosis (0-4). Another nine features were recorded as present or absent. An anonymized study set of 50 cases (32 from adult hepatology services, 18 from pediatric hepatology services) was assembled, coded, and circulated. For the validation study, agreement on scoring and a diagnostic categorization ("NASH," "borderline," or "not NASH") were evaluated by using weighted kappa statistics. Inter-rater agreement on adult cases was: 0.84 for fibrosis, 0.79 for steatosis, 0.56 for injury, and 0.45 for lobular inflammation. Agreement on diagnostic category was 0.61. Using multiple logistic regression, five features were independently associated with the diagnosis of NASH in adult biopsies: steatosis (P = .009), hepatocellular ballooning (P = .0001), lobular inflammation (P = .0001), fibrosis (P = .0001), and the absence of lipogranulomas (P = .001). The proposed NAS is the unweighted sum of steatosis, lobular inflammation, and hepatocellular ballooning scores. In conclusion, we present a strong scoring system and NAS for NAFLD and NASH with reasonable inter-rater reproducibility that should be useful for studies of both adults and children with any degree of NAFLD. NAS of > or =5 correlated with a diagnosis of NASH, and biopsies with scores of less than 3 were diagnosed as "not NASH."
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            Efficacy and safety of cholesterol-lowering treatment: prospective meta-analysis of data from 90,056 participants in 14 randomised trials of statins.

            Results of previous randomised trials have shown that interventions that lower LDL cholesterol concentrations can significantly reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) and other major vascular events in a wide range of individuals. But each separate trial has limited power to assess particular outcomes or particular categories of participant. A prospective meta-analysis of data from 90,056 individuals in 14 randomised trials of statins was done. Weighted estimates were obtained of effects on different clinical outcomes per 1.0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol. During a mean of 5 years, there were 8186 deaths, 14,348 individuals had major vascular events, and 5103 developed cancer. Mean LDL cholesterol differences at 1 year ranged from 0.35 mmol/L to 1.77 mmol/L (mean 1.09) in these trials. There was a 12% proportional reduction in all-cause mortality per mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol (rate ratio [RR] 0.88, 95% CI 0.84-0.91; p<0.0001). This reflected a 19% reduction in coronary mortality (0.81, 0.76-0.85; p<0.0001), and non-significant reductions in non-coronary vascular mortality (0.93, 0.83-1.03; p=0.2) and non-vascular mortality (0.95, 0.90-1.01; p=0.1). There were corresponding reductions in myocardial infarction or coronary death (0.77, 0.74-0.80; p<0.0001), in the need for coronary revascularisation (0.76, 0.73-0.80; p<0.0001), in fatal or non-fatal stroke (0.83, 0.78-0.88; p<0.0001), and, combining these, of 21% in any such major vascular event (0.79, 0.77-0.81; p<0.0001). The proportional reduction in major vascular events differed significantly (p<0.0001) according to the absolute reduction in LDL cholesterol achieved, but not otherwise. These benefits were significant within the first year, but were greater in subsequent years. Taking all years together, the overall reduction of about one fifth per mmol/L LDL cholesterol reduction translated into 48 (95% CI 39-57) fewer participants having major vascular events per 1000 among those with pre-existing CHD at baseline, compared with 25 (19-31) per 1000 among participants with no such history. There was no evidence that statins increased the incidence of cancer overall (1.00, 0.95-1.06; p=0.9) or at any particular site. Statin therapy can safely reduce the 5-year incidence of major coronary events, coronary revascularisation, and stroke by about one fifth per mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol, largely irrespective of the initial lipid profile or other presenting characteristics. The absolute benefit relates chiefly to an individual's absolute risk of such events and to the absolute reduction in LDL cholesterol achieved. These findings reinforce the need to consider prolonged statin treatment with substantial LDL cholesterol reductions in all patients at high risk of any type of major vascular event.
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              Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

               Paul Angulo (2002)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                leewonch@ms52.hinet.net
                hsuyc@mmc.edu.tw
                leetingfang@hotmail.com
                u9223015@gmail.com
                ytchiu@vghtc.gov.tw
                M001003@ms.skh.org.tw
                jcwu@vghtpe.gov.tw
                huangyt@nricm.edu.tw
                Journal
                BMC Gastroenterol
                BMC Gastroenterol
                BMC Gastroenterology
                BioMed Central (London )
                1471-230X
                15 February 2015
                15 February 2015
                2015
                : 15
                Affiliations
                [ ]Institute of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
                [ ]Division of Hepatology and Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
                [ ]Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Mackay Medical College, New Taipei City, Taiwan
                [ ]National Research Institute of Chinese Medicine, No. 155-1, Li-Nong Street, Sec. 2, Taipei, 112 Taiwan
                [ ]Department of Medical Research and Education, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
                [ ]Translational Research Division, Medical Research Department, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
                [ ]Institute of Traditional Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
                Article
                248
                10.1186/s12876-015-0248-8
                4336504
                © Chong et al.; licensee BioMed Central. 2015

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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                © The Author(s) 2015

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