CCl4-induced fibrosis in mice is associated with increased presence of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). The presence of HSCs was determined by quantitative real-time PCR for the following markers: (A) desmin, (B) GFAP, and (C) CD133. The mRNA expression of these markers was significantly up-regulated in the fibrotic livers of CCl4-treated mice. Upon withdrawal of CCl4, the expression of CD133 returned to control levels in the surrounding normal tissues but remained elevated in the tumors (C). No increase was seen by quantitative real-time PCR for (D) VEGFR2, one of the surface markers of EPCs. Each value represents the mean ± SD. *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01 and ***P = 0.0001 compared with respective control mice (Time point I: Control group n = 4, CCl4 Group n = 4; Time point II: Control group n = 2, CCl4 Group n = 5, Time point III: Control group n = 5, CCl4 Group (Non-tumor part) n = 9, CCl4 Group (HCC part) n = 5).
Fujii et al. BMC Gastroenterology 2010 10:79 doi:10.1186/1471-230X-10-79