Role of iron in hepatic fibrosis: one piece in the puzzle

World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Sep 21;13(35):4746-54. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v13.i35.4746.


Iron is an essential element involved in various biological pathways. When present in excess within the cell, iron can be toxic due to its ability to catalyse the formation of damaging radicals, which promote cellular injury and cell death. Within the liver, iron related oxidative stress can lead to fibrosis and ultimately to cirrhosis. Here we review the role of excessive iron in the pathologies associated with various chronic diseases of the liver. We also describe the molecular mechanism by which iron contributes to the development of hepatic fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Iron / physiology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / etiology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / physiopathology
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology


  • Iron