Macrophage and hepatic stellate cell responses during experimental hepatocarcinogenesis.
The aim of the study was to assess the monocyte/macrophage and hepatic stellate cell responses during experimental diethylnitrosamine (DEN)-induced hepatocarcinogenesis. Diethylnitrosamine (50mg/L) was administered to 39 rats for 10 weeks; liver tissue was obtained at weeks 10, 16 and 19. In this model, necroinflammatory damage occurs during the period of DEN administration but thereafter subsides; dysplastic nodules and carcinomas subsequently develop. Monocytes/ macrophages were detected immunohistochemically using ED1 and ED2 monoclonal antibodies; hepatic stellate cells (HSC) were detected using antibodies to alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA) (activated HSC) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Parenchymal ED1- and ED2-positive monocytes/macrophages and alpha-SMA-positive HSC increased at week 10 when there was ongoing DEN-induced necroinflammatory activity. ED1- and ED2-positive cells were also prominent at weeks 16 and 19, particularly around the periphery of dysplastic and carcinomatous nodules, with occasional macrophages between dysplastic hepatocytes. alpha-SMA-positive HSC were present within sinusoids between dysplastic cells and were more abundant at weeks 16 and 19 than in control or week 10 animals. Activated HSC were prominent in fibrous septa around and within dysplastic and carcinomatous nodules at weeks 16 and 19. In contrast, GFAP-positive HSC did not accumulate in developing septa or within dysplastic and carcinomatous nodules. We have demonstrated changes in the monocyte/ macrophage and HSC populations during the development of hepatocellular dysplasia and carcinoma at time points when there is little necroinflammatory activity; this may therefore represent a host response to hepatocyte dysplasia. The HSC activation may be mediated, in part, by monocyte/ macrophage-derived factors, but we speculate that it may also result from direct stimulation by factors released from dysplastic hepatocytes.
Johnson, SJ; Burr, AW; Toole, K; Dack, CL; Mathew, J; Burt, AD
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