Extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation differentially regulates platelet-derived growth factor's actions in hepatic stellate cells, and is induced by in vivo liver injury in the rat

Hepatology. 1999 Oct;30(4):951-8. doi: 10.1002/hep.510300406.


Upon liver injury, hepatic stellate cells (HSC) show increased proliferation, motility, and extracellular matrix (ECM) production. The extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) control different functions in a cell-specific manner. In this study, we evaluated the role of ERK activation in cultured HSC stimulated with platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and after induction of liver injury in vivo. HSC were isolated from normal human liver tissue, cultured on plastic, and used in their myofibroblast-like phenotype. In in vivo experiments, HSC were isolated from normal rats or at different time points after a single intragastric administration of CCl(4). Nontoxic concentrations of PD98059, a specific inhibitor of ERK activation, reduced PDGF-induced activation of ERK in a dose-dependent fashion. Suppression of ERK activation was associated with complete inhibition of HSC proliferation and with a 57% reduction in chemotaxis. In the presence of the ERK inhibitor, binding of the AP-1 complex and of STAT1 to the related regulatory elements was inhibited. The inhibition of the DNA binding activity of STAT1 was mediated by a reduction in PDGF-induced tyrosine phosphorylation. Expression of c-fos in response to PDGF was also reduced, but not suppressed, by treatment with PD98059. In HSC isolated from CCl(4)-treated rats, ERK activity increased as early as 6 hours following liver damage, and declined thereafter. The results of this study indicate that ERK activation regulates proliferation and chemotaxis of HSC, and modulates nuclear signaling. Acute liver damage in vivo leads to activation of ERK in HSC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / physiology
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Cell Nucleus / physiology
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury
  • Enzyme Activation / physiology
  • Enzyme Induction
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / physiology*
  • Liver Diseases / enzymology*
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Time Factors


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Flavonoids
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • 2-(2-amino-3-methoxyphenyl)-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one