Methyl helicterate inhibits hepatic stellate cell activation through downregulating the ERK1/2 signaling pathway.

Research paper by Yuanyuan Y Wei, Xiaolin X Zhang, Shujuan S Wen, Shaode S Huang, Quanfang Q Huang, Shengjuan S Lu, Facheng F Bai, Jinlan J Nie, Jinbin J Wei, Zhongpeng Z Lu, Xing X Lin

Indexed on: 15 Aug '19Published on: 23 Apr '19Published in: Journal of Cellular Biochemistry


The present study was to investigate the inhibitory effect of methyl helicterate (MH) on hepatic stellate cells (HSC-T6), primarily elucidating the underlying mechanism of MH against liver fibrosis. HSC-T6 cells were activated by platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) stimulation, and then the effects of MH on cell viability, cytomembrane integrity, colony, migration, apoptosis, and cell cycle were detected. Moreover, the regulative mechanism of MH on HSCs was investigated by detecting the activation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) signaling pathway. The results showed that MH significantly inhibited HSC-T6 cell viability and proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner. It notably promoted the release of lactate dehydrogenase, destroying cell membrane integrity. MH also markedly inhibited HSC-T6 cell clonogenicity and migration. Moreover, MH treatment significantly induced cell apoptosis and arrested cell cycle at the G2 phase. The further study showed that MH inhibited the expression of ERK1, ERK2, c-fos, c-myc, and Ets-1, blocking the ERK1/2 pathway. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that MH significantly inhibits HSC activation and promotes cell apoptosis via downregulation of the ERK1/2 signaling pathway. © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.