Leptin, a liver profibrogenic cytokine, induces oxidative stress in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), with increased formation of the oxidant H2O2, which signals through p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) pathways, stimulating tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 production. Since oxidative stress is a pathogenic mechanism of liver fibrosis and activation of collagen gene is a marker of fibrogenesis, we evaluated the effects of leptin on collagen I expression. We report here that, in LX-2 human HSCs, leptin enhances the levels of alpha1(I) collagen mRNA, promoter activity and protein. Janus kinase (JAK)1 and JAK2 were activated. H2O2 formation was increased; this was prevented by the JAK inhibitor AG490, suggesting a JAK-mediated process. ERK1/2 and p38 were activated, and the activation was blocked by catalase, consistent with an H2O2-dependent mechanism. AG490 and catalase also prevented leptin-stimulated alpha1(I) collagen mRNA expression. PD098059, an ERK1/2 inhibitor, abrogated ERK1/2 activation and suppressed alpha1(I) collagen promoter activity, resulting in mRNA down-regulation. The p38 inhibitor SB203580 and overexpression of dominant negative p38 mutants abrogated p38 activation and down-regulated the mRNA. While SB203580 had no effect on the promoter activity, it reduced the mRNA half-life from 24 to 4 h, contributing to the decreased mRNA level. We conclude that leptin stimulates collagen production through the H2O2-dependent and ERK1/2 and p38 pathways via activated JAK1 and JAK2. ERK1/2 stimulates alpha1(I) collagen promoter activity, whereas p38 stabilizes its mRNA. Accordingly, interference with leptin-induced oxidative stress by antioxidants provides an opportunity for the prevention of liver fibrosis.