Background/aims: The induction of liver fibrosis is difficult in mice. Here, we intended to improve fibrosis induction by combination of thioacetamide (TAA) injections and ethanol (EtOH) feeding and to characterize features of liver damage in this model. Most experimental therapeutic studies are performed in mice without pre-damaged livers.
Methods: C3H mice were injected three times/week (0.15 mg/g body weight) and fed with EtOH. Tissue and serum samples were collected and analysed.
Results: Portal fibrosis was verified by van Gieson staining showing a mild fibrosis (score F2) in TAA-treated mice and liver fibrosis (score F4) in the combination group using TAA/EtOH. Consonant with the histological results, the fibrosis marker MMP-2 and alpha 1 procollagen (I) were elevated at week 10 and 15 after treatment initiation in the combination group, whereas tissue protective proteinase, TIMP-1, was 18.5-fold increased only at week 10 but normalized until week 15. Fibrosis development was associated with elevated ICAM-1 expression.
Conclusions: Taken together, TAA/EtOH application was suitable to induce liver fibrosis characterized by typical bio-markers in C3H/He.