Expression of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein in cultured rat hepatic stellate cells and its significance

Jin Huang, Jin sheng Zhang, Guang cun Huang, Qi qun Tang, Chen Chen, Xiu rong Zhang, Q. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The expression of C/EBPalpha protein and mRNA during automatically activation process in primary cultures of HSCs were observed in order to explore its possible association with the proliferation and activation of HSCs. METHODS: Immunocytochemistry, Western blot and RT-PCR were used to evaluated the expression of C/EBPalpha protein and mRNA; as well as the expression of alpha-SMA, Desmin, MMP2, type I procollagen (alpha1). The eukaryotic vector harboring the full length cDNA of C/EBPalpha was transfected into activated HSC, then immunocytochemistry was applied to confirm the transfection and evaluate the effect of transfection on the proliferation of HSC by calculating the PCNA-positive cells. The morphological changes of HSC were observed by use of phase-contrast microscope. RESULTS: Constitutive expression of mRNA and protein of C/EBPalpha were detected in primarily cultured HSCs, and the protein was seen in both nuclei and cytoplasm with the latter being dominant. Their expression levels reached highest at day 2 of the culture, then decreased gradually when continually cultured to the day 4, 7, 10, on the other hand, the expression of alpha-SMA, MMP2 and ColI(alpha1) increased steadily. Transient transfection was verified by the fact that much more and stronger C/EBPalpha stain was observed in transfected HSCs than in void-vector transfected cells. In C/EBPalpha gene transfected HSCs, the number of PCNA-positive cells dramatically decreased compared with the void-vector transfected cells 24h after transfection. In addition, the C/EBPalpha gene transfected HSCs died 36 h after transfection, a few surviving cells became longer and thinner in morphology, however the void-vector transfected cells almost all remained alive. CONCLUSIONS: C/EBPalpha was likely involved in the HSCs activation, and over-expressed C/EBPalpha by transfection had inhibitory influence on the proliferation of cultured rat HSCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-262
Number of pages4
JournalZhonghua gan zang bing za zhi = Zhonghua ganzangbing zazhi = Chinese journal of hepatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


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