Targeting endothelial coagulation signaling ameliorates liver obstructive cholestasis and dysfunctional angiogenesisXue Yang, Yangying Ou, Ying Yang, Lu Wang, Yuwei Zhang, Fulan Zhao, Pixian Shui, Jie Qing
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Cholestatic fibrogenesis is a pathobiological process in which cumulative injury to the bile ducts coincides with progressive liver fibrosis. The pathobiologic mechanisms underlying fibrogenesis and disease progression remain poorly understood. Currently, there is no effective treatment for liver fibrosis. In this study, we discovered that components of the coagulation cascade were associated with the advanced progression of obstructive cholestasis, and anticoagulant therapy could improve liver cholestasis-induced fibrosis. In a mouse model of common bile duct ligation (BDL), which mimics cholestatic liver injury, RNA sequencing analysis revealed an increased expression of coagulation factors in endothelial cells. Pharmacological targeting of the coagulation signaling by hirudin, an anticoagulatory antagonist of thrombin, ameliorated obstructive cholestasis, and attenuated liver fibrosis symptoms. Hirudin attenuated fibrosis-associated angiogenesis, endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT), and tissue hypoxia and reduced liver inflammation after BDL. Furthermore, hirudin suppressed YAP (Yes-associated protein) signaling and its downstream effectors in vascular endothelial cells, which are considered with profibrotic characteristics. In conclusion, we demonstrated that pharmacological targeting of coagulation signaling by hirudin has the potential to alleviate liver obstructive cholestasis and fibrosis.