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Traitement oral de la fibrose hépatique avec un virus ADN recombinant associé à BMP-7 (animal en Anglais) Molecular Therapy 20, 2043-2051 (November 2012) | doi:10.1038/mt.2012.148 Oral Administration of Recombinant Adeno-associated Virus-mediated Bone Morphogenetic Protein-7 Suppresses CCl4-induced Hepatic Fibrosis in Mice Zhi-Ming Hao, Min Cai, Yi-Fei Lv, Yan-Hua Huang and Hong-Hong Li Fibrogenesis and hepatocyte degeneration are the main pathological processes in chronic liver diseases. Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) is the key profibrotic cytokine in hepatic fibrosis. Bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP-7) is a potent antagonist of TGF-β1 and an antifibrotic factor. In this study, we generated a recombinant adeno-associated virus carrying BMP-7 (AAV–BMP-7) and tested its ability to suppress carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepatic fibrosis when orally administered to mice. Our results show that the ectopic expression of BMP-7 in gastrointestinal (GI) mucosa due to the AAV–BMP-7 administration led to the long-term elevation of serum BMP-7 concentrations and resulted in the drastic amelioration of CCl4-induced hepatic fibrosis in BALB/c mice. Immunostaining for α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and desmin demonstrated that AAV–BMP-7 inhibited the activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) in the fibrotic mouse liver. Moreover, the ectopic expression of BMP-7 promoted hepatocyte proliferation, as confirmed by an increase in the amount of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)-positive hepatocytes in the mice that received AAV–BMP-7. Our results clearly indicate that BMP-7 is capable of inhibiting hepatic fibrosis and promoting hepatocyte regeneration. We suggest that oral AAV–BMP-7 could be developed into a safe, simple, and effective therapy for hepatic fibrosis.