, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 840–848 | Cite as

A20 Attenuates Liver Fibrosis in NAFLD and Inhibits Inflammation Responses

  • Xiaohan Wang
  • Luoyan Ai
  • Qingqing Xu
  • Changwei Wu
  • Zhiwei Chen
  • Dazhi Su
  • Xiaoke Jiang
  • Zhuping FanEmail author


We previously reported A20 was able to inhibit lipid accumulation in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. We want to investigate whether A20 influences liver fibrosis in this study. Liver tissues from patients with hepatic fibrosis (n = 9) and healthy individuals (n = 7) were studied for A20 protein level by immunohistochemistry. A20 messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein level were also analyzed in two murine hepatic fibrosis models: methionine- and choline-deficient (MCD) diet and extrahepatic bile duct ligation (BDL) operation by real-time PCR and western blot. In vitro, the LX-2 human hepatic stellate cell line was treated by LPS at 0, 0.001, 0.01, 0.1, and 1 μg/mL for 6 h or at the concentration of 0.1 μg/mL for 0, 6, 12, and 24 h, then A20 expression levels were detected by western blot and PCR. The mRNA level of α-SMA, collagen I, collagen III, TGF-β, IL-6, MCP-1, and TLR4 was also examined by PCR. We then overexpressed A20 in LX-2 cells using adenovirus technique. Levels of α-SMA, collagen I, collagen III, TGF-β, IL-6, MCP-1, and TLR4 were examined in A20-overexpression LX-2 cells. Patients with hepatic fibrosis showed significantly higher A20 protein level compared with healthy controls. A20 mRNA and protein levels were also increased in livers from MCD feeding or BDL operation mice in comparison to normal controls. In LX-2 cells, LPS induced A20 protein in a concentration-dependent manner. The mRNA levels of α-SMA, collagen I, collagen III, TGF-β, IL-6, MCP-1, and TLR4 were increased after LPS treatment. Overexpression of A20 in LX-2 cells inhibited α-SMA deposition and collagen I, collagen III secretion. TGF-β, IL-6, MCP-1, and TLR4 mRNA levels were also reduced in A20-overexpression LX-2 cells in response to LPS stimulation. A20 overexpression inhibits hepatic stellate cell activation, which could be the mechanism for high A20 expression protected livers from fibrosis. Enhancement of A20 expression seems to be rational therapeutic strategies for liver fibrosis.


A20 liver fibrosis inflammation LX-2 cells 



This work was supported by grants from the Baoen Wang liver fibrosis research fund, hepatitis prevention and treatment foundation of China (No.20110002), and Key discipline construction plan of Shanghai Public Health projects (No.12GWZX0903, No.15GWZK1001). This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China No.81600435.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Manage Center, Renji Hospital, School of MedicineShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of Gastroenterology and HepatologyThe First Hospital of JiaxingJiaxingChina
  3. 3.Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Key Laboratory of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Ministry of Health, Renji Hospital, School of MedicineShanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai Institute of Digestive DiseaseShanghaiChina

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