Inhibition of hepatic stellate cell collagen synthesis by N-(methylamino)isobutyric acid

Thomas L. Freeman, Kusum Kharbanda, Dean J. Tuma, Mark E Mailliard

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The increased deposition of extracellular matrix by hepatic stellate cells following liver injury, in a process known as activation, is considered a key mechanism for increased collagen content of liver during the development of liver fibrosis. We report that N-(methylamino)isobutyric acid (MeAIB), a specific inhibitor of System A-mediated amino acid uptake, reduces the accumulation of collagen in CFSC-2G hepatic stellate cell cultures and in a rat model of liver injury and fibrosis. Rat CFSC-2G cells were cultured in 0-5mM MeAIB, and the accumulation and synthesis of collagen were measured by binding to Sirius red F3B and pulse-labeling with [3H]-proline, respectively. The effect of MeAIB on collagen accumulation in vivo was evaluated utilizing a rat model of hepatic fibrosis. MeAIB inhibited collagen accumulation in CFSC-2G cultures in a concentration-dependent manner with 5mM MeAIB reducing collagen 44.6±1.2% compared with the control. In CFSC-2G cultures, MeAIB selectively inhibited the incorporation of proline into cellular macromolecules by 43±4%, while the synthesis of proteins containing leucine was not affected. In vivo, oral administration of 160mg MeAIB/kg body weight per day to rats significantly reduced the hepatic collagen accumulation in response to 1 week of CCl4-induced liver injury. MeAIB reduces the accumulation of collagen in CFSC-2G hepatic stellate cell cultures and in a CCl4-induced rat model of liver injury and fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)697-706
Number of pages10
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2002



  • Collagen
  • Hepatic stellate cells
  • Liver fibrosis
  • N-(Methylamino)isobutyric acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology

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