(a) Real-time quantitative PCR. In the 2-week DMN group, α-SMA mRNA expression level increased (vs control rats, P < 0.01). In the DMN + water group, α-SMA mRNA expression level also increased (vs control rats, P < 0.01). In the DMN + YCHT group, α-SMA mRNA expression level decreased (vs DMN + water rats, P < 0.05). ▲P < 0.05 ▲▲ P < 0.01 (vs DMN+ water) △ P < 0.05 △△ P < 0.01 (vs 2-week DMN). (b) Western blot. Western blot analysis of total protein extracts was performed with antibodies recognizing α-SMA and Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). YCHT reduced α-SMA protein expression significantly (vs DMN + water). (c) Immunohistochemical analysis ×200. (A) In the control group, α-SMA-positive HSCs were weakly stained and only detected in vascular structures. (B) and (C) With DMN-intoxication, number of α-SMA-positive HSCs increased gradually and peaked at week 4. (D) In the DMN + YCHT group, number of α-SMA-positive HSCs was significantly reduced.