Hepatic stellate cells and alcoholic liver disease

M. Vera, Natalia Nieto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Liver fibrosis represents a significant health problem worldwide for which no effective therapy exists. A great deal of research has been carried out to understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for the development of liver fibrosis. Activated stellate cells are the primary cell type responsible for the production of collagen I, the key protein involved in the development of liver fibrosis. Excessive deposition of collagen I occurs along with impaired extracellular matrix remodeling. Following a fibrogenic stimulus stellate cells transform into an activated collagen type I-producing cell. Numerous changes in gene expression are associated with stellate cell activation, including the induction of several intracellular signaling cascades, which help maintain the activated phenotype and control the fibrogenic and proliferative state of the cell. Activation of stellate cells is mediated by factors released from hepatocytes and Kupffer cells as they produce reactive oxygen species, nitric oxide, cytokines, growth factors, and cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase metabolites, which provide pivotal paracrine effects in the liver milieu. Inhibition of stellate cell activation, proliferation, and the increased production of extracellular matrix (i.e. collagen type I) are therefore crucial steps for intervention in hepatic fibrogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)674-684
Number of pages11
JournalRevista Espanola de Enfermedades Digestivas
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Collagen I
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Fibrosis
  • Hepatic stellate cells
  • Reactive oxigen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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