Author(s): Parsons CJ, Bradford BU, Pan CQ, Cheung E, Schauer M,
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Abstract Liver fibrosis is characterized by increased synthesis, and decreased degradation, of extracellular matrix (ECM) within the injured tissue. Decreased ECM degradation results, in part, from increased expression of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1), which blocks matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity. TIMP-1 is also involved in promoting survival of activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), a major source of ECM. This study examined the effects of blocking TIMP-1 activity in a clinically relevant model of established liver fibrosis. Rats were treated with carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4)), or olive oil control, for 6 weeks; 24 days into the treatment, the rats were administered a neutralizing anti-TIMP-1 antibody derived from a fully human combinatorial antibody library (HuCAL), PBS, or an isotype control antibody. Livers from CCl(4)-treated rats exhibited substantial damage, including bridging fibrosis, inflammation, and extensive expression of smooth muscle alpha-actin (alpha-SMA). Compared to controls, rats administered anti-TIMP-1 showed a reduction in collagen accumulation by histological examination and hydroxyproline content. Administration of anti-TIMP-1 resulted in a marked decrease in alpha-SMA staining. Zymography analysis showed antibody treatment decreased the activity of MMP-2. In conclusion, administration of a TIMP-1 antibody attenuated CCl(4)-induced liver fibrosis and decreased HSC activation and MMP-2 activity.
This article was published in Hepatology
and referenced in Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System