Background: Hepatic fibrosis progresses with right heart failure, and becomes cardiac cirrhosis in a severe case. Although its causal factor still remains unclear. Here we evaluated the progression of hepatic fibrosis using a pulmonary artery banding (PAB)-induced right heart failure model and investigated whether cardiac output (CO) is responsible for the progression of hepatic fibrosis. Methods and Results: Five-week-old Sprague-Dawley rats divided into the PAB and sham-operated control groups. After 4 weeks from operation, we measured CO by echocardiography, and hepatic fibrosis ratio by pathological examination using a color analyzer. In the PAB group, CO was significantly lower by 48% than that in the control group (78.2±27.6 and 150.1±31.2 ml/min, P<0.01). Hepatic fibrosis ratio and serum hyaluronic acid, an index of hepatic fibrosis, were significantly increased in the PAB group than those in the control group (7.8±1.7 and 1.0 ±0.2%, P<0.01, 76.2±27.5 and 32.7±7.5 ng/ml, P<0.01). Notably, the degree of hepatic fibrosis significantly correlated a decrease in CO. Immunohistological analysis revealed that hepatic stellate cells were markedly activated in hypoxic areas, and HIF-1α positive hepatic cells were increased in the PAB group. Furthermore, by real-time PCR analyses, transcripts of profibrotic and fibrotic factors (TGF-β1, CTGF, procollargen I, procollargen III, MMP 2, MMP 9, TIMP 1, TIMP 2) were significantly increased in the PAB group. In addition, western blot analyses revealed that the protein level of HIF-1α was significantly increased in the PAB group than that in the control group (2.31±0.84 and 1.0±0.18 arbitrary units, P<0.05). Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that low CO and tissue hypoxia were responsible for hepatic fibrosis in right failure heart model rats.
ASJC Scopus subject areas