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Chronic vitamin C insufficiency aggravated thioacetamide-induced liver fibrosis in gulo-knockout mice

Cited 18 time in Web of Science Cited 18 time in Scopus

Kim, Jin-Hee; Jeong, Young-Joo; Hong, Jun-Man; Kim, Hang-Rae; Kang, Jae Seung; Lee, Wang Jae; Hwang, Young-il

Issue Date
Elsevier BV
Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Vol.67, pp.81-90
Given the involvement of oxidative stress in liver-disease- or hepato-toxicant-induced hepatic damage and fibrosis, antioxidants are an effective preventive and therapeutic tool. The beneficial results of vitamin C, one of the physiological antioxidants, have been observed both in experimental animals and in humans. However, most of these studies have been concerned with supplementary vitamin C; the effects of under vitamin C insufficiency, which humans sometimes confront, have not been substantially investigated. In the present study, we established a vitamin C-insufficient animal model (half-to-normal serum vitamin C concentration) with gulo(-/-) mice that cannot synthesize vitamin C, and induced hepatotoxicity by means of thioacetamide (TAA) injections twice a week for 18 weeks. Additionally, we explored the direct effects of vitamin C both on immortalized human hepatic stellate LX-2 cells and on rat primary hepatic stellate cells. Vitamin C insufficiency resulted in a decreased survival rate and increased serum markers for hepatocyte damage, such as alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase. Concomitantly, the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lipid peroxides in the liver were increased. Histological examinations of the vitamin C-insufficient liver revealed increases in collagen fiber deposition and activated-hepatic-stellate-cell number. Vitamin C, when directly applied to the LX-2 cells as well as the rat primary hepatic stellate cells, suppressed not only proliferation but hydrogen peroxide-induced collagen expression as well. In conclusion, vitamin C insufficiency exacerbated TAA-induced hepatotoxicity. These effects seem to be mainly from insufficient scavenging of ROS in the liver, and possibly in part, by directly affecting hepatic stellate cells. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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