Apelin, a new bioactive peptide, was identified as an endogenous ligand for APJ (Angiotensin II receptor-like 1). Apelin and its receptor have an abundant distribution in central nervous system and peripheral tissues, including liver. Apelin/APJ has diverse physiological and pathological effects, including regulation of cardiovascular function, angiogenesis, fluid homeostasis and so on. Apelin/APJ system may act as a novel potential therapeutic target for liver disease. In this article, we review the role of apelin/APJ system in liver fibrosis, hepatitis, hepatic cirrhosis, liver injury and metabolic liver disease.
Keywords: APJ; apelin; cirrhosis; fibrosis; liver.