The evaluation of fibrotic effects of the hepatitis B virus pre-core in hepatic stellate cells
- Seyed Younes Hosseini
- Kazem Baesi
- Negar Azarpira
- Ameneh Pakneiat
- Seyedeh Akram Hosseini
Published online on: April 19, 2017
The role of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) endogenous pre-core protein in liver fibrosis is controversial. Whether the expression of the pre-core induces the activation of human stellate cells (HSCs) has not yet been reported. Plasmids expressing HBx, or pre‑core protein were transfected into LX‑2 cells. Subsequently, total RNA extracted and reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed to measure the fold change of collagen type I, α1 chain, α‑smooth muscle actin and TIMP metalloproteinase inhibitor‑1. Moreover, transforming growth factor (TGF)‑β in the supernatant of HSCs was evaluated by ELISA assay. In addition, a MTT assay was performed to test the cytotoxicity of the endogenous expression in LX‑2 cells. None of the plasmids exhibited cytotoxic nor significant proliferative effects on LX-2 cells by MTT assessment. The gene expression analysis of fibrotic genes in LX‑2 cells demonstrated that the pre‑core protein presented no significant (P>0.05) fibrotic impact when compared to the empty control plasmid and HBx. The data from the TGF-β ELISA was consistent with the mRNA expression as detected with the control plasmid (P>0.05). The endogenous expression of the HBV pre‑core exhibited no fibrotic impression in HSCs when compared to HBx.