【摘要】：AIM: To investigate the antifibrotic effects of bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP-7) on Schistosoma japonicum (S. japonicum )-induced hepatic fibrosis in BALB/C mice. METHODS: Sixty BALB/C mice were randomly divided into three groups, including a control group (group A, n = 20), model group (group B, n = 20) and BMP-7 treated group (group C, n = 20). The mice in group B and group C were abdominally infected with S. japonicum cercariae to induce a schistosomal hepatic fibrosis model. The mice in group C were administered human recombinant BMP-7. Liver samples were extracted from mice sacrificed at 9 and 15 wk after modeling. Hepatic histopathological changes were assessed using Masson's staining. Transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1), alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), phosphorylated Smad2/3 (pSmad2/3) and Smad7 protein levels and localization were measured by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry, respectively, and their mRNA expressions were detected by reverse transcriptionpolymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). RESULTS: The schistosomal hepatic fibrosis mouse model was successfully established, as the livers of mice in group B and group C showed varying degrees of typical schistosomal hepatopathologic changes such as egg granuloma and collagen deposition. The degree of collagen deposition in group C was higher than that in group A (week 9: 22.95±6.66vs 2.02±0.76; week 15: 12.84±4.36 vs 1.74±0.80; P0.05), but significantly lower than that in group B (week 9: 22.95±6.66 vs 34.43±6.96; week 15: 12.84±4.36 vs 18.90±5.07;P0.05) at both time points. According to immunohistochemistry data, the expressions of α-SMA, TGF-β1 and pSmad2/3 protein in group C were higher than those in group A (α-SMA: week 9: 21.24±5.73 vs 0.33±0.20; week 15: 12.42±4.88 vs 0.34±0.27; TGF-β1: week 9: 37.00±13.74 vs 3.73±2.14; week 15: 16.71±9.80 vs 3.08±2.35; pSmad2/3: week 9: 12.92±4.81 vs 0.83±0.48; week 15: 7.87±4.09 vs 0.90±0.45; P0.05), but significantly lower than those in group B (α-SMA: week 9: 21.24±5.73 vs 34.39±5.74; week 15: 12.42±4.88 vs 25.90±7.01; TGF-β1: week 9: 37.00±13.74 vs 55.66±14.88; week 15: 16.71±9.80 vs 37.10±12.51; pSmad2/3: week 9: 12.92±4.81 vs 19.41±6.87; week 15: 7.87±4.09vs 13.00±4.98;P0.05) at both time points; the expression of Smad7 protein in group B was higher than that in group A and group C at week 9 (8.46±3.95 vs 1.00±0.40 and 8.46±3.95 vs 0.77±0.42; P0.05), while there were no differences in Smad7 expression between the three groups at week 15 (1.09±0.38 vs 0.97±0.42 vs 0.89±0.39; P0.05). Although minor discrepancies were observed, the results of RT-PCR and Western blotting were mainly consistentwith the immunohistochemical results. CONCLUSION: Exogenous BMP-7 significantly decreased the degree of hepatic fibrosis in both the acute and chronic stages of hepato-schistosomiasis, and the regulatory mechanism may involve the TGF-β/Smad signaling pathway.