Purinergic P2X7 receptor mediates acetaldehyde-induced hepatic stellate cells activation via PKC-dependent GSK3β pathway

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Abstract

The activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) is an essential part in the development of alcoholic liver fibrosis (ALF). In this study, stimulated HSCs with 200 μM acetaldehyde for 48 h was used to imitate alcoholic liver fibrosis in vitro. The western blot and qRT-PCR results showed that P2X7R expression was significantly increased in the activation of HSCs after acetaldehyde treatment. Interestingly, activation of P2X7R by stimulating with P2X7R agonist BzATP significantly promoted acetaldehyde-induced CyclinD1 expression, cell proportion in S phase, inflammatory response, and the protein and mRNA levels of α-SMA, collagen I. In contrast, blockage of P2X7R by stimulating with the inhibitor A438079 or transfecting with specific siRNA dramatically suppressed acetaldehyde-induced HSCs activation. Furthermore, PKC activation treated with PMA could obviously up-regulate the expression of α-SMA and collagen I and the phosphorylation of GSK3β, while inhibition of PKC significantly reduced GSK3β activation. Moreover, GSK3β inhibition harvested a dramatic decrease of the mRNA and protein levels of α-SMA and collagen I by suppressing GSK3β phosphorylation. Taken together, these results suggested that purinergic P2X7R mediated acetaldehyde-induced activation of HSCs via PKC-dependent GSK3β pathway, which maybe a novel target for limiting HSCs activation.

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