Activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) is a critical pathogenic feature of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. BAY 41-2272 is a canonical non-nitric oxide (NO)-based soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) stimulator that triggers cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) signaling for attenuation of fibrotic disorders; however, the impact of BAY 41-2272 on HSC activation remains ill-defined. Transforming growth factor (TGF)Β and its downstream connective tissue growth factor (CTGF or cellular communication network factor 2, CCN2) are critical fibrogenic cytokines for accelerating HSC activation. Here, we identified that BAY 41-2272 significantly inhibited the TGFß1-induced mRNA and protein expression of CTGF in mouse primary HSCs. Indeed, BAY 41-2272 increased the sGC activity and cGMP levels that were potentiated by two NO donors and inhibited by a specific sGC inhibitor, ODQ. Surprisingly, the inhibitory effects of BAY 41-2272 on CTGF expression were independent of the sGC/cGMP pathway in TGFΒ1-activated primary HSCs. BAY 41-2272 selectively restricted the TGFΒ1-induced phosphorylation of Akt but not canonical Smad2/3 in primary HSCs. Together, we illustrate a unique framework of BAY 41-2272 for inhibiting TGFΒ1-induced CTGF upregulation and HSC activation via a noncanonical Akt-dependent but sGC/cGMP-independent pathway.
- BAY 41-2272
- Hepatic stellate cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)