Pathological process of liver sinusoidal endothelial cells in liver diseases

World J Gastroenterol. 2017 Nov 21;23(43):7666-7677. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i43.7666.


Cirrhosis develops from liver fibrosis and is the severe pathological stage of all chronic liver injury. Cirrhosis caused by hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus infection is especially common. Liver fibrosis and cirrhosis involve excess production of extracellular matrix, which is closely related to liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs). Damaged LSECs can synthesize transforming growth factor-beta and platelet-derived growth factor, which activate hepatic stellate cells and facilitate the synthesis of extracellular matrix. Herein, we highlight the angiogenic cytokines of LSECs related to liver fibrosis and cirrhosis at different stages and focus on the formation and development of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. Inhibition of LSEC angiogenesis and antiangiogenic therapy are described in detail. Targeting LSECs has high therapeutic potential for liver diseases. Further understanding of the mechanism of action will provide stronger evidence for the development of anti-LSEC drugs and new directions for diagnosis and treatment of liver diseases.

Keywords: Cirrhosis; Fibrosis; Hepatitis; Liver disease; Sinusoidal endothelial cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Endothelial Cells / pathology*
  • Endothelial Cells / virology
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / pathology
  • Hepacivirus / pathogenicity
  • Hepatic Stellate Cells / metabolism
  • Hepatic Stellate Cells / pathology*
  • Hepatic Stellate Cells / virology
  • Hepatitis B virus / pathogenicity
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human / diagnosis
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human / pathology*
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human / virology
  • Humans
  • Liver / blood supply
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Liver / virology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / diagnosis
  • Liver Cirrhosis / drug therapy
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / virology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / drug therapy
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Cytokines