Liver Injury and the Activation of the Hepatic Myofibroblasts

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30 Scopus citations


Liver fibrosis is a wound healing process, the end result of chronic liver injury elicited by different noxious stimuli. Activated hepatic stellate cells or myofibroblasts and portal myofibroblasts are considered the main producers of the extracellular matrix in the liver. On liver injury, the quiescent stellate cells transdifferentiate into myofibroblasts, a process highlighted by the loss of vitamin A stores, upregulation of interstitial type collagens, α-smooth muscle actin, matrix metalloproteinases, and proteoglycans, and the induction of cell survival pathways. Activation of hepatic stellate cells is a result of a complex interplay between the parenchymal cells, immune cells, extracellular matrix mechanics, and the extrahepatic milieu such as the gut microbiome. In this review we focus on the pathomechanism of stellate cell activation following chronic liver injury with the aim of identifying possible treatment targets for antifibrogenic agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-223
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Pathobiology Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013


  • Apoptosis
  • Gut microbiota
  • miRNA
  • Reactive oxidative species
  • Sterile inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Cancer Research


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