Hepatic fibrosis, characterized by abnormal accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM), is a common pathological process of many chronic liver diseases. A growing number of studies have shown that the activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of hepatic fibrosis. Inhibiting the activation of HSCs and accelerating the clearance of activated HSCs may be effective strategies for resolution of hepatic fibrosis. Therefore, understanding the underlying mechanisms of clearance of activated HSCs and the therapeutic implications is an active subject of research. Studies have shown that apoptosis, immune clearance, phenotype reversion and senescence are involved in clearance of activated HSCs. In this review, we will discuss the mechanisms of clearance of activated HSCs and their potential in resolution of hepatic fibrosis.
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