Expression of small heat shock protein αB-crystallin is induced after hepatic stellate cell activation

Alon Lang, Laura W. Schrum, Robert Schoonhoven, Shmuel Tuvia, Jose A. Solís-Herruzo, Hidekazu Tsukamoto, David A. Brenner, Richard A. Rippe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using the differential PCR display method to select cDNA fragments that are differentially expressed after hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activation, we have isolated from activated HSCs a cDNA that corresponds to rat αB-crystallin. Northern blots confirmed expression of αB-crystallin in culture-activated HSCs but not in quiescent HSCs. Western blot analysis and immunocytochemical staining confirmed expression of αB-crystallin protein in activated but not quiescent HSCs. αB-crystallin is induced as early as 6 h after plating HSCs on plastic and continues to be expressed for 14 days in culture. Expression of αB-crystallin was also induced in vivo in activated HSCs from experimental cholestatic liver fibrosis. Confocal microscopy demonstrated a cytoplasmic distribution of αB-crystallin in a cytoskeletal pattern. Heat shock treatment resulted in an immediate perinuclear redistribution that in time returned to a normal cytoskeletal distribution. The expression pattern of αB-crystallin was similar to that of HSP25, another small heat shock protein, but differed from the classic heat shock protein HSP70. Therefore, αB-crystallin represents an early marker for HSC activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G1333-G1342
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number6 42-6
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Differential polymerase chain reaction display
  • Gene expression
  • Liver fibrosis


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