We have evaluated the possible mechanisms of liver fibrosis caused by Fasciola hepatica in an animal model and in culture using immortalized human stellate cells. Liver biopsies of F. hepatica-infected rats were performed at wk 8 and 16. Serum-starved LX-2 cells, a human stellate cell line, were exposed to increasing concentrations of Fas2 antigen. The expression of key fibrosis-related genes was evaluated by qRT-PCR. There was a significant correlation between fibrogenic gene expression and both intensity and duration of infection. LX-2 cells exposed to Fas2 showed progressively increased expression of mRNAs for Collagen I, alpha-smooth muscle-actin, platelet-derived growth factor beta receptor, and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase II; inhibition of Fas2 cysteine proteinase activity by E-64 abrogated these increases, suggesting that the protease activity of Fas2 is involved in fibrogenic stimulation. In summary, F. hepatica infection is associated with up-regulation of mRNAs associated with hepatic fibrogenesis in vivo and in activated hepatic stellate cells.