Sildenafil protects against bile duct ligation induced hepatic fibrosis in rats: Potential role for silent information regulator 1 (SIRT1)

Dalia M Abd El Motteleb, Islam A A E-H Ibrahim, Shimaa M Elshazly
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 2017 November 15, 335: 64-71
Hepatic fibrosis is a potential health problem that may end with life-threatening cirrhosis and primary liver cancer. Recent studies point out to the protective effects of silent information regulator1 (SIRT1), against different models of organs fibrosis. This work aimed to investigate the possible protective effect of sildenafil (SIRT1 activator) against hepatic fibrosis induced by bile duct ligation (BDL). Firstly, three different doses of sildenafil (5, 10, 20mg/kg/day) were investigated; to detect the most protective one against BDL induced liver dysfunction and hepatic fibrosis. The most protective dose is then used; to study its effect on BDL induced SIRT1 downregulation, imbalance of oxidant/antioxidant status, increased inflammatory cytokines and fibrosis. Sildenafil (20mg/kg/day) was the most protective one, it caused upregulation of SIRT1, reduction of hepatic malondialdehyde (MDA) content, increase in expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), hemeoxygenease (HO)-1, reduced glutathione (GSH) content and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity. Hepatic content of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and nuclear factor κB (NFκB) expression & content displayed significant reductions with sildenafil treatment, Furthermore, sildenafil caused marked reductions of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β content, expression of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1), α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), fibronectin, collagen I (α1) and hydroxyproline content. However, sildenafil protective effects were significantly reduced by co-administration of EX527 (SIRT1 inhibitor). Our work showed, for the first time that, sildenafil has promising protective effects against BDL induced liver dysfunction and hepatic fibrosis. These effects may be, in part, mediated by up regulation of SIRT1.

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