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, 290 (4), G765-71

Secretion of MCP-1/CCL2 by Bile Duct Epithelia Induces Myofibroblastic Transdifferentiation of Portal Fibroblasts

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Secretion of MCP-1/CCL2 by Bile Duct Epithelia Induces Myofibroblastic Transdifferentiation of Portal Fibroblasts

Emma A Kruglov et al. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol.

Abstract

Portal fibroblasts (PF) are fibrogenic liver cells distinct from hepatic stellate cells (HSC). Recent evidence suggests that PF may be important mediators of biliary fibrosis and cirrhosis. The cytokine monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1)/CCL2 is upregulated in biliary fibrosis by bile duct epithelia (BDE) and induces functional responses in HSC. Thus we hypothesized that release of MCP-1 may mediate biliary fibrosis. We report that PF express functional receptors for MCP-1 that are distinct from the receptor CCR2. MCP-1 induces proliferation, increase and redistribution of alpha-smooth muscle (alpha-SMA) expression, loss of the ectonucleotidase NTPDase2, and upregulation of alpha(1)-procollagen production in PF. BDE secretions induce alpha-SMA levels in PF, and this is inhibited by MCP-1 blocking antibody. Together, these data suggest that BDE regulate PF proliferation and myofibroblastic transdifferentiation in a paracrine fashion via release of MCP-1.

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