HIV+HCV co-culture increased mRNA and protein expression levels of α-SMA, collagen IV, TGF-β, and EPM in HSCs.

<p><b>(A)</b> QRT-PCR analysis of fibrogenesis-related genes in LX-2 cells. MRNA expression levels of <i>α-SMA</i>, <i>collagen IV</i>, <i>TGF-β</i>, <i>and EPM</i> were significantly upregulated after culture with HIV+HCV. <i>GAPDH</i> was used as the internal control. *P < 0.05 compared with the HIV or HCV group. <b>(B)</b> Western blotting analysis of the fibrogenesis-related protein expression levels in LX-2 cells. EPM, α-SMA, collagen IV, and TGF-β levels were upregulated after 72 h of co-culture with HIV+HCV. GAPDH was used as an internal control. <b>(C)</b> Western blotting analysis of EPM protein expression levels in LX-2 cells incubated with HIV+HCV at the indicated time points (h). GAPDH was used as an internal control. Bar graphs are shown on the right. * P < 0.05 compared with 24h.</p>