Background/Aims: The mechanism of hepatic fibrogenesis with chronic viral hepatitis is not well understood. Persistent activation of hepatic stellate cells is felt to play a role in the development of fibrogenesis and progression to cirrhosis. Methodology: We determined the expression of hepatic α-smooth muscle actin, a marker of hepatic stellate cell activation, in 29 patients with chronic hepatitis C and varying degrees of liver injury and fibrosis. In addition to a baseline evaluation, we assessed the effect of interferon therapy on α-smooth muscle actin expression in 11 patients, including 6 with a sustained response to therapy. Specimens were evaluated by light microscopy for grade of inflammation and stage of fibrosis. Expression of α-smooth muscle actin was assessed semiquantitatively by immunohistochemical staining. Results: At baseline, all patients had α-smooth muscle actin expressed within the liver without an obvious correlation with the severity of liver injury. However, among sustained responders, a reduction in hepatic necroinflammatory activity was associated with a trend towards a decrease in α-smooth muscle actin expression. This however did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions: Hepatic α-smooth muscle actin expression, as a marker of hepatic stellate cell activation appears reversible and tends to correlate with necroinflammatory activity.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|State||Published - Mar 31 2001|
- Alpha smooth muscle actin
- Hepatitis C
- Stellate cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas