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Using the expression-profiling method, we identified nephroblastoma overexpressed gene (NOV) mRNA as one member of the mRNA population that was upregulated in cultured activated hepatic stellate cell (HSC). Northern analysis showed that NOV mRNA was increasingly expressed during progressive activation of cultured rat HSCs, and a significant increase was observed in both the carbon tetrachloride-induced and bile duct ligation/scission rat models of liver fibrosis. RT-PCR showed human NOV mRNA was increased in most fibrotic livers compared with normal livers. The expression of NOV protein in fibrotic rat and human livers was predominantly located in areas of ductular proliferation and HSC of the fibrous septa. HSCs stimulated with transforming growth factor β1 showed increased expression of NOV protein without changing its mRNA levels. Dexamethasone stimulated the expression of NOV mRNA and protein. Furthermore, we demonstrated that bile acids have a modulating effect on the induction of NOV mRNA expression. In conclusion, this study suggests that NOV is expressed during liver fibrogenesis and HSCs may be an important source of hepatic NOV.