Animal Models of Autoimmune Liver Diseases: a Comprehensive Review

Shou Pei Liu, Zhen Hua Bian, Zhi Bin Zhao, Jinjun Wang, Weici Zhang, Patrick S.C. Leung, Liang Li, Zhe Xiong Lian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Autoimmune liver diseases (AILDs) are potentially life-threatening chronic liver diseases which include autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cholangitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and recently characterized IgG4-related sclerosing cholangitis. They are caused by immune attack on hepatocytes or bile ducts, with different mechanisms and clinical manifestations. The etiologies of AILDs include a susceptible genetic background, environment insults, infections, and changes of commensal microbiota, but remain complicated. Understanding of the underlying mechanisms of AILDs is mandatory for early diagnosis and intervention, which is of great importance for better prognosis. Thus, animal models are developed to mimic the pathogenesis, find biomarkers for early diagnosis, and for therapeutic attempts of AILDs. However, no animal models can fully recapitulate features of certain AILD, especially the late stages of diseases. Certain limitations include different living condition, cell composition, and time frame of disease development and resolution. Moreover, there is no IgG4 in rodents which exists in human. Nevertheless, the understanding and therapy of AILDs have been greatly advanced by the development and mechanistic investigation of animal models. This review will provide a comprehensive overview of traditional and new animal models that recapitulate different features and etiologies of distinct AILDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


  • Animal models
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Autoimmune liver disease
  • IgG4-related sclerosing cholangitis
  • Primary biliary cholangitis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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