Involvement of C/EBP-α gene in in vitro activation of rat hepatic stellate cells

Guang Cun Huang, Jin Sheng Zhang, Qi Qun Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) play key roles in hepatic fibrosis. One of the most striking alterations in activated HSCs is loss of cytoplasmic lipid droplets. However, the association of lipid storage with the activation of HSCs remains unclear. CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins family (C/EBPs), especially C/EBP-α, controls differentiation of adipocytes. We suggested that C/EBP-α gene may be involved in HSCs activation. The present results showed that the expression levels of C/EBP-α and C/EBP-β genes declined in activated HSCs. Over-expression of C/EBP-α gene in activated HSCs: (1) inhibited HSCs proliferation, extracellular matrix-producing, α-smooth muscle actin gene expression, and induced rebound of cytoplasmic lipid droplets; (2) reduced retinoic acid receptor-β, C/EBP-δ and -β gene expressions, but increased the active form C/EBP-β PSer 105, and induced retinoid X receptor-α gene expression; and (3) did not affect the protein level of p16INK4a, p21Cip1/WAF1 or p27Kip1. In conclusions, C/EBP-α gene is involved in in vitro activation of rat HSCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1309-1318
Number of pages10
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 26 2004


  • CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins
  • Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors
  • Hepatic stellate cells
  • Retinoic acid receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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