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, 29 (1), 140-8

Monocyte Chemotactic protein-1 as a Chemoattractant for Human Hepatic Stellate Cells


Monocyte Chemotactic protein-1 as a Chemoattractant for Human Hepatic Stellate Cells

F Marra et al. Hepatology.


Following liver injury, hepatic stellate cells (HSC) undergo proliferation and migrate into damaged areas in response to chemotactic factors. HSC have been shown to regulate leukocyte trafficking by secreting monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), a chemokine that recruits monocytes and lymphocytes. In this study, we explored whether MCP-1 exerts biological actions on HSC. HSC were isolated from normal human livers, cultured on plastic, and studied in their myofibroblast-like phenotype, and three different cells lines were used. Chemotaxis was measured in modified Boyden chambers. Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-K) was assayed on phosphotyrosine immunoprecipitates. Exposure of HSC to MCP-1 stimulated migration of HSC in a dose-dependent fashion. Maximal stimulation was obtained with 250 ng/mL MCP-1, which resulted in a 3- to 4-fold stimulation of cell migration. Checkerboard analysis showed that the increase in cell migration was almost completely a result of chemotaxis rather than chemokinesis. In contrast, in quiescent HSC, MCP-1 did not exert any effect on cell migration. In leukocytes, MCP-1 activates the pertussis toxin-sensitive CCR2 receptor. However, transcripts for CCR2 could not be shown in HSC, and pertussis toxin only modestly inhibited MCP-1-induced migration. Exposure of HSC to MCP-1 was associated with an increase in cytosolic calcium concentration, PI 3-K activity, protein tyrosine phosphorylation. Blocking calcium influx or pretreatment of HSC with the PI 3-K inhibitor wortmannin markedly reduced cell migration. This study shows, for the first time, a potential direct profibrogenic action of MCP-1 via HSC chemotaxis. MCP-1-dependent signals in these cells are not transduced by CCR2 and may be mediated by alternative chemokine receptors. (HEPATOLOGY 1999;29:140-148.)

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