The tissue renin-angiotensin system has recently been demonstrated to reduce fibrogenesis in various organs. However, little has been clarified regarding its role in hepatic fibrosis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors on liver fibrogenesis induced in rats by low-dose chronic carbon tetrachloride administration. We used lisinopril that is absorbed in its active form and not metabolized in the liver to avoid any influence by the administration of the chemical. Carbon tetrachloride was administered twice a week i.p. Twelve and 24 weeks after the start of treatment, expanded periportal fibrosis or portal-portal bridgings and severe fat deposition were observed in the rats treated with carbon tetrachloride alone, and these findings were significantly reduced with the simultaneous treatment with lisinopril. The hydroxyproline content of the liver was significantly lower in the lisinopril-treated group. Angiotensin II up-regulated mRNA of pro α (I) collagen and transforming growth factor-β in isolated hepatic stellate cells. These results suggest that the local tissue renin-angiotensin system plays a role in rat hepatic fibrogenesis induced by chronic carbon tetrachloride administration and that hepatic fibrogenesis is significantly reduced by ACE inhibitors.
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