Extracellular matrix and liver disease

Elena Arriazu, Marina Ruiz De Galarreta, Francisco Javier Cubero, Marta Varela-Rey, María Pilar Pérez De Obanos, Tung Ming Leung, Aritz Lopategi, Aitor Benedicto, Ioana Abraham-Enachescu, Natalia Nieto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Significance: The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a dynamic microenvironment that undergoes continuous remodeling, particularly during injury and wound healing. Chronic liver injury of many different etiologies such as viral hepatitis, alcohol abuse, drug-induced liver injury, obesity and insulin resistance, metabolic disorders, and autoimmune disease is characterized by excessive deposition of ECM proteins in response to persistent liver damage. Critical Issues: This review describes the main collagenous and noncollagenous components from the ECM that play a significant role in pathological matrix deposition during liver disease. We define how increased myofibroblasts (MF) from different origins are at the forefront of liver fibrosis and how liver cell-specific regulation of the complex scarring process occurs. Recent Advances: Particular attention is paid to the role of cytokines, growth factors, reactive oxygen species, and newly identified matricellular proteins in the regulation of fibrillar type I collagen, a field to which our laboratory has significantly contributed over the years. We compile data from recent literature on the potential mechanisms driving fibrosis resolution such as MF' apoptosis, senescence, and reversal to quiescence. Future Directions: We conclude with a brief description of how epigenetics, an evolving field, can regulate the behavior of MF and of how new "omics" tools may advance our understanding of the mechanisms by which the fibrogenic response to liver injury occurs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1078-1097
Number of pages20
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014


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