Cytokines in autoimmune liver diseases

Pietro Invernizzi, Ilaria Bianchi, Francesca Bemuzzi, Lisa Caliari, Massimo Locati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Constitutive production of cytokies is absent or minimal in the normal liver but, in response to various types of injury, hepatocyte and cholangiocyte damage causes the local recruitment of neutrophils and macrophages that produce cytokines and chemokines and the former mediate the inflammatory response that leads to the regeneration of the liver tissue and ultimately, to the deposition of extracellular matrix by activated stellate cells. Cytokine production can have both beneficial and harmful effects, depending on the amount and duration of cytokine release. Within the spectrum of chronic liver diseases, cytokines play a pivotal role in the loss of immune tolerance characterizing chronic autoimmune hepatitis and primary biliary cirrhosis. This study will provide a general overview on cytokines and focus on their role in initiating and driving the inflammatory infiltrate in autoimmune liver diseases. A better understanding of this process might allow therapeutic interventions to switch off the peculiar inflammatory response which occurs in these conditions before irreversible damage occurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-154
Number of pages10
JournalResearch Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008


  • Autoimmune
  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Liver diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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