Involvement of Fas system-mediated apoptosis in pathogenesis of viral hepatitis

J Viral Hepat. 1999 Sep;6(5):357-65. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2893.1999.00175.x.


Enhanced Fas system-mediated hepatocyte apoptosis is observed in hepatitis C virus (HCV)- and hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated chronic liver diseases. In these forms of viral hepatitis, liver-infiltrating lymphocytes that recognize the viral antigen on hepatocytes become activated and express cytolytic Fas ligand (FasL) molecules. In contrast, hepatocytes exhibit enhanced Fas expression and become susceptible to FasL-mediated death. Augmentation of the Fas system has also been observed in other liver diseases and biliary disorders. Moreover, the Fas system is involved in removing aged hepatocytes. Thus, Fas-mediated apoptosis plays an important role in several liver diseases and in maintaining normal liver homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / immunology
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / pathology*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / virology
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / immunology
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / pathology*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / virology
  • Humans
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / virology
  • Liver Diseases / immunology
  • Liver Diseases / pathology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • fas Receptor / metabolism*


  • FASLG protein, human
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Fasl protein, mouse
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • fas Receptor