Angiotensin II (Ang II) is a pro-oxidant and fibrogenic cytokine. We investigated the role of NADPH oxidase in Ang II–induced effects in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), a fibrogenic cell type. Human HSCs express mRNAs of key components of nonphagocytic NADPH oxidase. Ang II phosphorylated p47phox, a regulatory subunit of NADPH oxidase, and induced reactive oxygen species formation via NADPH oxidase activity. Ang II phosphorylated AKT and MAPKs and increased AP-1 DNA binding in a redox-sensitive manner. Ang II stimulated DNA synthesis, cell migration, procollagen α1(I) mRNA expression, and secretion of TGF-β1 and inflammatory cytokines. These effects were attenuated by N-acetylcysteine and diphenylene iodonium, an NADPH oxidase inhibitor. Moreover, Ang II induced upregulation of genes potentially involved in hepatic wound-healing response in a redox-sensitive manner, as assessed by microarray analysis. HSCs isolated from p47phox–/– mice displayed a blunted response to Ang II compared with WT cells. We also assessed the role of NADPH oxidase in experimental liver fibrosis. After bile duct ligation, p47phox–/– mice showed attenuated liver injury and fibrosis compared with WT counterparts. Moreover, expression of smooth muscle α-actin and expression of TGF-β1 were reduced in p47phox–/– mice. Thus, NADPH oxidase mediates the actions of Ang II on HSCs and plays a critical role in liver fibrogenesis.


Ramón Bataller, Robert F. Schwabe, Youkyung H. Choi, Liu Yang, Yong Han Paik, Jeffrey Lindquist, Ting Qian, Robert Schoonhoven, Curt H. Hagedorn, John J. Lemasters, David A. Brenner


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