Kaempferol attenuates liver fibrosis by inhibiting activin receptor-like kinase 5.
J Cell Mol Med. 2019 Jul 5. Epub 2019 Jul 5. PMID: 31273920
Liver fibrosis is a common public health problem. Patients with liver fibrosis are more likely to develop cirrhosis, or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) as a more serious consequence. Numerous therapeutic approaches have emerged, but the final clinical outcome remains unsatisfactory. Here, we discovered a flavonoid natural product kaempferol that could dramatically ameliorate liver fibrosis formation. Our data showed that intraperitoneal injection of kaempferol could significantly decrease the necroinflammatory scores and collagen deposition in the liver tissue. In addition, serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), laminin (LN) and hyaluronic acid (HA) levels were significantly down-regulated in kaempferol treatment group compared with those in the control group. Our study also demonstrated that kaempferol markedly inhibited the synthesis of collagen and activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) both in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, the results of Western blotting revealed that kaempferol could down-regulate Smad2/3 phosphorylation dose-dependently. These bioactivities of kaempferol may result from its targeted binding to the ATP-binding pocket of activin receptor-like kinase 5 (ALK5), as suggested by the molecular docking study and LanthaScreen Eu kinase binding assay. Above all, our data indicate that kaempferol may prove to be a novel agent for the treatment of liver fibrosis or other fibroproliferative diseases.