Molecular mechanisms of hepatic fibrosis and principles of therapy

J Gastroenterol. 1997 Jun;32(3):424-30. doi: 10.1007/BF02934504.


Tremendous insights into the understanding of hepatic fibrosis have taken place over the past ten years. Foremost among these is the recognition that hepatic stellate cells (formerly known as lipocytes, Ito cells, or fat-storing cells) play a central role based on their ability to undergo activation following liver injury of any cause. Stellate cell activation is a broad phenotypic response, characterized by distinct functional changes in proliferation, contractility, fibrogenesis, cytokine secretion, and matrix degradation. Insights gained into the molecular regulation of hepatic stellate cell activation will lead to new, targeted approaches to hepatic fibrosis in the future, and could lead to reduced morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic liver injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Extracellular Matrix / pathology
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / therapy