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Liping Ling, Guangqi Li, Dongxiao Meng, Sining Wang, Chunqing Zhang
(Department of Gastroenterology, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China (mainland))
Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: ANS8290-8297
Carvedilol is the first-line drug for the primary prophylaxis of variceal bleeding due to portal hypertension (PHT) in liver cirrhosis. This study aimed to investigate the effects of carvedilol on intrahepatic angiogenesis and sinusoidal remodeling in cirrhotic rats and explore the underlying mechanisms of carvedilol in PHT.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: For in vivo experiments, carbon tetrachloride was used to induce liver cirrhosis in rats, and carvedilol was simultaneously administered by gavage. The portal pressure was measured in rats, and liver tissues were examined by immunohistochemistry. Sinusoidal remodeling was observed by transmission electron microscopy. For in vitro experiments, the effects of carvedilol on fibronectin (FN) synthesis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were explored by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis.
RESULTS: Portal vein pressure measurements showed that carvedilol reduced portal pressure in cirrhotic rats. Immunohistochemistry assays indicated that carvedilol ameliorated intrahepatic angiogenesis. Transmission electron microscopy examination demonstrated that carvedilol improved sinusoidal remodeling. In the in vitro experiments, carvedilol suppressed transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1)-induced FN synthesis in HUVECs by inhibition of the TGFβ1/Smads pathway.
CONCLUSIONS: Carvedilol ameliorated intrahepatic angiogenesis, sinusoidal remodeling and portal pressure in cirrhotic rats. Carvedilol improved sinusoidal remodeling by suppressing FN synthesis in endothelial cells. Carvedilol has potential utility for treating early-stage liver cirrhosis.