Citations : Liver Fibrosis and Inflammation under the Control of ERK2

Dated: May 27, 2020

Publication Name: International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Chronic liver injury could lead the formation of liver fibrosis, eventually some would develop to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), one of the leading malignancies worldwide. The aim of the study is to dissect the role of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 (ERK2) signaling in liver fibrosis and inflammation. The choline-deficient, ethionine-supplemented (CDE) diet could lead to fatty livers and generate oval cells, activate hepatocyte stellate cell (HSC) and recruit immune cells as the liver fibrosis model mice. WT and ERK2 deficient (ERK2−/−) mice were compared in terms of liver weight/body weight, liver function, liver fibrosis markers and the differential gene expression in hepatotoxicity. ERK2−/−mice display the less degree of liver fibrosis when compared to WT mice. The protein level of alpha smooth muscle (α-SMA) was reduced and several hepatocellular carcinoma-related genes such as MMP9, FoxM1 were down-regulated. In addition, the cell proliferation and the percentages of activated T cells were reduced in ERK2−/− mice upon liver injury. Therefore, ERK2 plays an important role in regulating liver cirrhosis and inflammation.

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Contributors: Division of General Surgery and Department of Medical Research, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, No.21, Sec. 2, Nanya S. Rd., Banciao Dist., New Taipei City 220, Taiwan