Role of transforming growth factor-[beta]1 in Inhibiting Endothelial cell Proliferation in experimental alcoholic Liver disease

Document Type



Pathology and Microbiology


We used the intragastric feeding rat model for alcoholic liver disease to investigate the relationship between transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta 1 and inhibition of endothelial cell proliferation. Twelve groups of male Wistar rats (four to five rats per group) were fed ethanol or dextrose with either corn oil or saturated fat for 1-, 2-, and 4-week periods. All control animals were pair fed the same diets as ethanol-fed rats except that ethanol was isocalorically replaced by dextrose. In the ethanol-fed groups, nonparenchymal cells were isolated and TGF-beta 1 was measured in the nonparenchymal cell supernatant. Liver pathology and endothelial cell proliferation with an antibody to proliferating cell nuclear antigen were studied in all groups. Plasma TGF-beta 1 was measured in all rats. Pathological changes (fatty liver, necrosis, and inflammation) were observed only in the corn oil/ethanol-fed rats at 4 weeks. Significantly higher levels of TGF-beta 1 were seen in both plasma and nonparenchymal cell supernatant in rats fed corn oil and ethanol; plasma levels of TGF-beta 1 were not significantly different between the dextrose-fed controls and saturated fat/ethanol-fed rats. A significant inverse correlation (r = -0.89, P < 0.01) was seen between plasma TGF-beta 1 and the number of endothelial cells arrested at G1/S. Immunohistochemistry revealed the presence of TGF-beta 1 staining in interstitial macrophages only in rats fed corn oil and ethanol. The present study provides evidence for a role for TGF-beta 1 in inhibiting endothelial cell proliferation in experimental alcoholic liver disease. Arrest of endothelial cells may lead to their differentiation and/or to produce mediators that could stimulate other cells such as Ito cells. Sustained TGF-beta 1 may also lead to Ito cell production of extracellular matrix.

Publication (Name of Journal)

American Journal of Pathology