Tyrosine kinase inhibitor neratinib attenuates liver fibrosis by targeting activated hepatic stellate cells

Yong Joo Park, Hyoung Tae An, Jong Sung Park, Ogyi Park, Alexander J. Duh, Kwangmeyung Kim, Kyu Hyuck Chung, Kang Choon Lee, Yumin Oh, Seulki Lee

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7 Scopus citations


Liver fibrosis, a common outcome of chronic liver disease characterized by excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM), is a leading cause of mortality worldwide. The tyrosine kinase inhibitor neratinib is a human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) inhibitor approved by the FDA for HER2-positive breast cancer treatment; however, it has not yet been evaluated for liver fibrosis treatment. We elucidated the anti-fibrotic effects of neratinib in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) and in vivo models of CCl4-induced liver fibrosis. HSC activation is a key step in liver fibrogenesis and has a crucial role in collagen deposition, as it is primarily responsible for excessive ECM production. The effect of neratinib on HSC was evaluated in transforming growth factor (TGF-β)-incubated LX-2 cells and culture-activated primary human HSCs. In vivo study results indicated that neratinib inhibited the inflammatory response, HSC differentiation, and collagen accumulation induced by CCl4. Moreover, the anti-fibrotic effects of neratinib were not associated with the HER2 signaling pathways. Neratinib inhibited FGF2 expression in activated HSCs and serum FGF2 level in the model, suggesting that neratinib possessed therapeutic potency against liver fibrosis and the potential for application against other fibrotic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14756
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the US Department of Defense Grants W81XWH-51-1-0301 (YO, SL), as well as the National Research Foundation of Korea Grants NRF-2013K1A1A2A02050115 (HTA, KK) and NRF-2016R1A2B4006914 (KCL).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).


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