Zinc deficiency is common in the liver of patients with chronic liver disease. Zinc supplementation suppresses the progression of liver fibrosis induced by bile duct ligation (BDL) in mice. The present study was undertaken to specifically investigate a possible mechanism by which zinc plays this role in the liver. Kunming mice were subjected to BDL for 4 weeks to induce liver fibrosis, and concomitantly treated with zinc sulfite or saline as control by gavage once a day. The results showed that zinc supplementation significantly suppressed liver fibrosis and inflammation along with inhibition of hepatic stellate cells activation induced by BDL. These inhibitory effects were accompanied by the reduction of collagen deposition and a significant reduction of macrophage infiltration affected livers. Importantly, zinc selectively inhibited M1 macrophage polarization and M1-related inflammatory cytokines. This inhibitory effect was further confirmed by the reduction of relevant biomarkers of M1 macrophages including inducible NO synthase...

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