Resources - Application Notes

α-SMA Expression in Hepatic Stellate Cells


Related Products: BioSpa 8, BioSpa System , Cytation 5

December 21, 2018

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A comprehensive exploration based on phenotypic and protein observations


α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA} is a protein that is encoded by the gene ACTA2 in humans, and is a key component of the cellular contractile system. α-SMA expression is considered a reliable marker of hepatic stellate cell (HSC} activation and a key biomarker for liver fibrosis. In the liver, HSCs play a central role in the development of liver fibrosis, transdifferentiating from "quiescent" HSC to a myofibroblastic phenotype in response to Transforming Growth Factor beta (TGF-β), inflammatory processes and ROS.

In this application note, the Biotek Cytation™ 5 Cell Imaging Multi-Mode Reader and BioSpa were used to follow the expression of α-SMA in Human LX-2* cells in response to TGF-β stimulation. Phenotypic changes were captured using the instruments' immunofluorescent and live imaging capabilities. Protein expression of α-SMA was confirmed using the HTRF α-SMA kit. These visual and relative observations demonstrate the pivotal role played by α-SMA during myofibroblast differentiation.